Here's How Conservatives Are Using Civil Rights Law to Restrict Abortion
Here Are the Details of the Abortion Legislation in Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana and Elsewhere
By Abigail Abrams
January 1, 2020
Six states passed laws in 2019 banning abortions once a “fetal heartbeat” is detected, which can be as early as six weeks into pregnancy. While most of these new laws were challenged in court and are temporarily blocked, the trend has continued: another 10 states introduced similar bills in 2019 and more are expected this year.
The sudden success of these measures is not an accident. They are the result of a concerted new strategy by abortion opponents, researchers have found.
Fetal Personhood Is Maternal Punishment
When society values the life of a fetus over that of a living person, women pay the steepest price.
By Katha Pollitt
Dec 2, 2019
We often talk about abortion as if it’s a thing unto itself. If we connect it to anything, it’s usually to sex education, contraception, and other contested ways of preventing unwanted births.
What gets much less attention is the removal of everyday rights from willingly pregnant women. For opponents of abortion, who grant personhood to fertilized eggs, embryos, and fetuses, it’s not a stretch to go from saying “You have to have that baby” to “You have to produce a healthy baby, therefore your wishes, needs, and constitutional rights are of no account.” Moreover, if anything goes wrong, they’re going to assume it’s your fault alone.
What’s It Like to Get an Abortion in Georgia
by Kimberly Lawson
Nov 25 2019
Georgia made national headlines in May when Governor Brian Kemp signed into law a bill that would ban abortion after 6 weeks and define fetuses as people. While the law has been blocked as legal challenges proceed against it, the reality is that it's already difficult to get an abortion in the state.
What Georgia state law says about abortion:
People seeking abortions in Georgia face a number of restrictions. Abortions are prohibited after 20 weeks unless the pregnant person's life is in danger, their physical health will be severely compromised, or there's a lethal fetal anomaly.
The Abortion Bans
Fault Lines examines early abortion bans passed in the US, how women are resisting, and whether the laws will stand.
(25 minute video)
13 Nov 2019
In 2019, nine US states passed laws effectively banning abortion in the earliest stages of pregnancy, before many women even know they are pregnant.
Fault Lines travelled to Alabama and Georgia, two states that passed the most extreme bans, to meet architects of the bills and legislators, clinics and patients on the front lines, and reproductive justice advocates fighting the bans in court.
‘Personhood’ Film Shows the Cost of the Push for Fetal Rights
“If [the personhood movement] succeeds, the people who get pregnant are going to lose their fundamental rights… to privacy, to equality, to due process of law.”
Nov 7, 2019
Elizabeth Dawes Gay
Premiering this week, Personhood is the latest film highlighting the state of reproductive rights in the United States and how efforts to undermine the constitutional right to abortion cause unnecessary harm. In addition to exposing how fetal “personhood”—or the anti-abortion idea of legal protection for fetuses—immediately threatens the lives and well-being of pregnant people, the documentary film covers important issues concerning what the future could hold if state and federal policy continues in this trajectory. Personhood serves as a reminder that more organizing and political activism are needed to meet the challenges ahead.
The Alabama woman indicted after a miscarriage will not be prosecuted
A jury initially indicted Marshae Jones on manslaughter charges after a shooting caused her to miscarry, sparking a national outcry.
By P.R. Lockhart
Jul 3, 2019
One week after her story drew national attention, Marshae Jones, the Alabama woman who faced criminal charges after a shooting caused her to miscarry, will not be prosecuted, the Alabama district attorney announced Wednesday.
“After viewing the facts of this case and the applicable state law I have determined that it is not in the best interest of justice to pursue prosecution of Ms. Jones on the manslaughter charge for which she was indicted by the grand jury,” Jefferson County District Attorney Lynneice Washington said at a press conference. “Therefore, I am dismissing this case and no further legal action will be taken against Ms. Jones in this matter.”
A pregnant woman was shot in the stomach. She was charged in the death of the fetus.
By Michael Brice-Saddler and Alex Horton
June 28, 2019
A 27-year-old Alabama woman was indicted on manslaughter charges Wednesday in the loss of her pregnancy, even though, police say, another woman pulled the trigger.
The moment quickly became a flash point in the broader debate over abortion, particularly in Alabama, and raised questions over how fairly manslaughter charges can be applied in the state.
This Ballot Measure Could End Later Abortion Care in Colorado
Anti-choice activists have targeted Dr. Warren Hern, a later abortion provider in Colorado, with protests and gunshots through his window.
Jun 12, 2019
Abortion rights foes in Colorado hope to force an initiative on next year’s ballot that would shut down the state’s only clinic specializing in later abortion care.
The initiative, which has to clear a series of hurdles before it can appear on the 2020 ballot, would make it “unlawful for any person to intentionally or recklessly perform or attempt to perform an abortion if the probable gestational age of the fetus is at least 22 weeks,” but pro-choice activists say the ballot measure could ban abortion completely.
Philosophers On the Ethics and Politics of Abortion
By Justin Weinberg
June 10, 2019
This year, nine U.S. states have passed legislation that bans early abortions in an attempt to provoke a challenge to the abortion rights protected by the 1973 Supreme Court Roe v. Wade decision.
According to the Guttmacher Institute, "The current U.S. Supreme Court standard holds that states may prohibit abortion after fetal viability so long as there are exceptions for the life and health (both physical and mental) of the woman. Under this legal standard, viability—which can range from 24 to 28 weeks after the start of the woman’s last menstrual period (LMP)—must be determined on an individual basis, and determinations of both fetal viability and the woman’s health are at the discretion of the patient’s physician. In addition, states may not require that additional physicians confirm an attending physician’s judgment that the woman’s life or health is at risk in cases of medical emergency."
In light of this recent legislative activity, the political intensity of the subject, and the complex moral and legal questions surrounding it, I took the advice of a few readers and put together this entry for the Philosophers On series on the ethics and politics of abortion.
On Abortion in the Context of Malta: a Medical Doctor’s Perspective
April 3, 2019
Illustrations by the author
It is extremely important to differentiate between being anti-abortion at an individual level and being anti-legalising-abortion (anti-choice), a distinction that is often overlooked. It is perfectly reasonable and respectable for individuals who would never have an abortion themselves to be pro-choice.
At the heart of every debate on abortion are its scientific, moral, social, psychological and medical aspects. They all play a crucial role in formulating an opinion and taking a stance on the issue.