The Forgotten Father of the Abortion Rights Movement
What Bill Baird's aggressive, often illegal form of activism can teach a new generation about combating anti-abortion forces.
By Myra MacPherson
October 7, 2019
I first met Bill Baird in Hempstead, Long Island, on a freezing December night in 1968. This was 18 months after he was arrested and jailed for handing a can of contraceptive foam to an unmarried coed at Boston University. And it was some four years before the Supreme Court would hand down its decision in Eisenstadt v. Baird, the case that grew out of Baird’s illegal action and established the right of unmarried people to possess contraceptive products. Eisenstadt, in turn, was a crucial privacy precedent that the Court cited in 1973’s landmark Roe v. Wade decision establishing a woman’s right to an abortion. But on that night in 1968, Baird was attending to more immediate matters: a clinic packed with desperate women.
How billionaire philanthropy provides reproductive health care when politicians won’t
How philanthropists brought us modern contraception — and where we’d be without them.
By Kelsey Piper
Sep 17, 2019
There’s a new backlash against billionaire philanthropy. Some of its leading voices have argued that “every billionaire is a policy failure” and that it’d be better if billionaires didn’t exist at all — even if that meant the disappearance of philanthropy by billionaires.
The conversation has done a lot of valuable work, encouraging more scrutiny of charitable activity, pointing out where philanthropy is a fig leaf for misconduct, and forcing institutions to grapple with when it’s wrong to accept money that was unethically acquired.
How a Supreme Court Shaped by Trump Could Restrict Access to Abortion
AUG. 14, 2018
President Trump has pledged to appoint Supreme Court justices who will vote to overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that established a constitutional right to abortion. Justice Anthony M. Kennedy was a cautious supporter of abortion rights. With his departure and the addition of a second Trump appointee, the Supreme Court would have a conservative majority that would most likely sustain sharp restrictions on access to abortion in the United States.
But if the court does hear a case that brings up the issue, it is hardly clear that it would take the drastic step of overruling Roe. The court could instead opt for a more incremental strategy, upholding increasingly severe restrictions in much of the country but stopping short of saying that the Constitution has nothing to say about a right to abortion.
Assuming that there are five justices ready to limit abortion rights, how could that happen? Here are some of the possible scenarios, each of which entails a different degree of legal upheaval.
A leader in the fight to protect Roe v. Wade lays out the plan to stop Brett Kavanaugh
NARAL president Ilyse Hogue explains the strategy for protecting abortion rights in the Supreme Court and in the states.
By Emily Stewart
Jul 29, 2018
Even before Supreme Court Justice’s Anthony Kennedy’s retirement and President Donald Trump’s nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to replace him, abortion rights advocates were already concerned about the erosion of those rights in America. The prospect of Kavanaugh on the bench — and his and the president’s past positioning on abortion — have raised the alarm over reproductive rights in the United States and the future of Roe v. Wade to a new level.
Activists are ready for battle.
America Will Lose More Than Abortion Rights If Roe v. Wade Is Overturned
By Jill Filipovic
June 28, 2018
In just a few years, scores of American women could lose their right to safe, legal abortion.
President Donald Trump can now choose a nominee to fill the Supreme Court seat of outgoing Justice Anthony Kennedy, a crucial defender of Roe v. Wade. Since being nominated to the Court by President Reagan in 1988, Kennedy served as an inconsistent but important bulwark against some of the court’s greater right-wing excesses. In 1992, when a case that could have overturned Roe v. Wade went to the Court, Kennedy signed on to a majority opinion upholding abortion rights. It became widely understood that he wouldn’t sign onto an opinion overturning Roe. He became a firewall — one that prompted anti-abortion activists to set about chipping away at access to abortion, instead of mounting a direct legal challenge.