The Next Big Abortion Case Comes Down to John Roberts
By Irin Carmon, The Intelligencer
Feb. 28, 2020
Almost four years ago, I sat on a cable-news set waiting for the Supreme Court to hand down a ruling on a Texas abortion law that, reputable medical organizations agreed, amounted to a bogus justification for shutting down abortion clinics. The live feed was trained on candidate Hillary Clinton’s Cincinnati rally, featuring Elizabeth Warren, who had just endorsed her.
Alike in blonde bobs and jewel tones, if not much else, the two raised their clasped hands to the sky in a show of party unity and the hint of an all-female ticket, or at least a future in which reproductive autonomy, along with everything else, didn’t depend on the whims of a tiny number of white men. The particular man we were waiting on that day was Justice Anthony Kennedy. Minutes later, the networks cut away to announce that his vote in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt would keep the clinics open, ruling that the Texas law placed an unconstitutional burden on women.
The Supreme Court could fundamentally redefine the 2020 election
By Ronald Klain
Oct. 24, 2019
At last week’s Democratic presidential debate, two issues — abortion and the Supreme Court — finally made it onto the agenda. But the relatively abstract discussion of potential schemes to add to the court’s membership or rotate justices off the court masked a critical point: Circumstances may be conspiring to put abortion and the court at the center of 2020’s campaign in a way unmatched in a generation.
Why? Because of the potential convergence of two gigantic events in June 2020. First, that is when the Supreme Court is expected to hand down a decision in a Louisiana abortion case — a ruling that will likely substantially restrict abortion rights even if it does not outright overturn Roe v. Wade. Second, notwithstanding his public protestations to the contrary, Justice Clarence Thomas may retire that same month, setting off a brutal battle over his replacement.
How U.S. abortion rights could take a hit as the Supreme Court term begins
By Lawrence Hurley, Reuters
September 26, 2019
WASHINGTON — With new abortion cases on a fast track to the U.S. Supreme Court, the nine justices will get an opportunity within weeks to take up legal fights over Republican-backed laws that could lead to rulings curbing a woman’s ability to obtain the procedure.
The big question is not so much whether the court, with its 5-4 conservative majority that includes two justices appointed by U.S. President Donald Trump, will take up an appeal that could permit new restrictions on abortion rights, but when it will do so, according to legal experts.
With Kavanaugh on Court, Abortion Rights Groups Sharpen Their Focus on the States
By Emily Cochrane
Oct. 19, 2018
LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Abortion rights groups, bracing for an assault on federal legal protections under a Supreme Court moved to the right by Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh, are pouring millions into a state-level fight to preserve services — an echo of the localized strategy used successfully by their opponents for years.
The new initiatives, by groups like Planned Parenthood and Naral Pro-Choice America, have two primary goals: to challenge severely restrictive measures advanced by emboldened state legislatures, and to bolster clinics in places friendlier to abortion rights that may become a fallback if access elsewhere is restricted.
How Abortion Rights Will Die a Death by 1,000 Cuts
Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation to the Supreme Court would mean the demise of not just abortion rights but also a century of progressive reforms.
By Serena Mayeri
Aug. 30, 2018
Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s voluminous record, his opinion of the Supreme Court’s landmark abortion ruling, Roe v. Wade, and his views on legal precedent have deservedly been scrutinized in the lead-up to his confirmation hearings next week. But the Supreme Court’s 1992 decision in Planned Parenthood v. Casey, more than Roe, holds the key to understanding the stakes of Judge Kavanaugh’s potential confirmation.
It is Casey that now protects women’s access to reproductive health care in states whose restrictions on health care providers and patients threaten to close clinics or ban abortions outright. And the political lesson conservatives learned from Casey all but guarantees that a vote for Judge Kavanaugh is a vote not only to endanger abortion rights but to turn back the clock on a century of progressive reforms.
For Many Women, a World Without Abortion Access Is Already Here
Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court could make the procedure inaccessible to millions of U.S. women, but in many places that’s the case even now
by Nandita Raghuram and Neil deMause
August 28, 2018
What would life be like without Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 ruling that gave women in the U.S. the right to a legal abortion? This has become a common question ever since President Donald Trump nominated federal judge Brett Kavanaugh last month to replace the just-retired justice Anthony Kennedy on the Supreme Court, with anti-abortion activists gearing up for a post-Roe world and defenders of abortion rights warning that if confirmed by the Senate next month, Kavanaugh could be the deciding vote to re-criminalize abortion.
If that were to happen, the United States would revert to a patchwork of local laws; only eight states — Maine, Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, California, Nevada, Washington, and Hawaii — have laws that guarantee the right to abortion, while others have legislation in place that would immediately ban it.
Self-Managed Abortion Care Becomes Urgent as Threats to Roe v. Wade Mount
by Katie Klabusich, Truthout
Published August 19, 2018
When President Trump took office just over a year and a half ago, activists could only make educated guesses about whether his promised onslaught against reproductive health care would truly come to pass. The current picture is worse than expected due to attacks from rogue agency heads throughout the Trump-Pence administration who are collaborating to deny access to care to people across the country.
These agency heads include Betsy Devos at the Department of Education, who is working in tandem with the new division of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Civil Rights to reduce access to contraception; Scott Lloyd, who has directed the Office of Refugee Resettlement to deny abortion care to immigrant minors; and Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who has announced a “religious liberty task force” to shore up already existing “conscience clauses” allowing employees to refuse care.
When It Comes to Abortion Rights, Civil Disobedience Could Be the Only Option
Non-violent protest should be on the table ahead of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation hearing.
Aug 16, 2018
In this op-ed, Erin Matson, co-founder and co-director of Reproaction, explains why civil disobedience should be on the table when it comes to preserving abortion rights.
For abortion opponents, Brett Kavanaugh is — to borrow the parlance of baseball — somewhat of a closing pitcher. While there have been other justices who would vote to overturn Roe v. Wade and end the federal constitutional right to abortion, Kavanaugh’s decisions on reproductive rights have anti-abortion groups strongly supporting his nomination. For that reason, many have noted that he could be the one to shut it all down. Nominated to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy, who had been a swing vote in favor of protecting abortion, Kavanaugh would turn the court into an enduring five-vote majority — an all-male majority — opposed to abortion rights. Since the Roe v. Wade decision in 1973 that made outright abortion bans unconstitutional, the threat to maintaining that decision in the United States has never been this pronounced. Congress can’t be counted on to save us, as we’ve seen legislators fail us before, letting laws critical to our health lapse. As the nomination hearings begin, we need to keep that in mind. That’s why strategic, non-violent civil disobedience needs to be on the table.
Abortion-rights activists in U.S. brace for new wave of restrictions
NEW YORK, The Associated Press
August 2, 2018
Abortion-rights advocates are intensifying efforts to make it easier for women to get abortions amid a new wave of state-level bans and restrictions expected to occur under a reconfigured U.S. Supreme Court.
The efforts include boosting financial aid for women needing to travel long distances to get an abortion, and raising awareness about the option of do-it-yourself abortions.
The Struggle to Save Abortion Care
First Published August 1, 2018
Abstract: Resisting both physical attacks and widespread policy proscriptions, mission-driven abortion care providers continue working to help their patients.
“Some will rob you with a six gun, some with a fountain pen.” This line from an old Woody Guthrie song is an apt description of the vulnerability of abortion providers in the United States. Clinics have long been subject to physical attacks: eleven individuals have been murdered by anti-abortion extremists, thousands more have been terrorized at their homes and offices, and numerous clinics have been vandalized, even destroyed by fire-bombings. More recently, a harsh new regulatory regime—Guthrie’s “pen”—comprising onerous restrictions passed by state legislatures and hostile inspections by health departments threaten the ability of providers to keep their facilities open and to sustain their vision of “woman-centered” care. As a longtime abortion clinic administrator told me, “Regulatory interference is the new frontier of the anti-abortion movement.”