Inside the conservative organization undermining abortion access one state at a time
By Ray Levy-Uyeda
Dec 26, 2019
This year, a record number of six-week abortion bans, dubbed “heartbeat bills," were introduced at the state level. The goal of these restrictive measures was ostensibly to “protect the lives of the unborn” — as well as to issue a sneaky challenge to existing law set by the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, which says abortion is legal in all 50 states. The bans rely on the bogus claim that a vaginal ultrasound can detect a fetal “heartbeat” six weeks into pregnancy, giving pro-life advocates a foundational claim to fetal personhood.
In reality, these “heartbeats” are not any real sign of sentient life. But the movement is successfully restricting access to abortion in large part because of the activism of one woman: Ohioan Janet Folger Porter, who uses her organization, Faith2Action, to lobby for and proliferate such legislation.
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States across America are passing heartbeat laws, which aim to outlaw abortions at any stage of pregnancy with no exceptions for rape or incest.
They are reigniting debate in the US around abortion and threatening to overturn the famous 1973 Roe V Wade decision.
Even if Roe is upheld, abortion opponents are winning
A drip, drip, drip of state restrictions has made abortion harder to obtain.
By RACHANA PRADHAN, RENUKA RAYASAM and MOHANA RAVINDRANATH
Abortion is still legal in the United States, but for women in vast swaths of the country it’s a right in name only.
Six states are down to only one abortion clinic; a court stepped in Friday to stop Missouri’s sole clinic from closing, at least for now. Some women seeking abortions have to travel long distances, and face mandatory waiting periods or examinations. On top of that, a new wave of restrictive laws, or outright bans, is rippling across GOP-led states like Alabama and Georgia.
Abortion clinics report 'alarming' rise in picketing, vandalism and trespassing
Last year, trespassing hit highest level since 1999 while vandalism occurred at highest rate since 1990
Julia Carrie Wong
Sat 25 May 2019
US abortion providers reported an “alarming escalation” in incidents of disruption and intimidation in 2018, according to new findings report by their professional association, the National Abortion Federation (NAF).
Trespassing reached the highest level since the NAF began recording such incidents in 1999, while incidents of obstruction of facilities grew 78% from 2017 to 2018. Providers also reported record levels of picketing (99,409 incidents) since recording began in 1977, and the highest number of incidents of vandalism (125) since 1990.
U.S. lawmakers break rape silence as abortion bans spread
As one Republican legislature after another has pressed ahead with restrictive abortion bills, they’ve been confronted with raw testimony about the consequences
The Associated Press
Updated: May 18, 2019
COLUMBUS, Ohio — For more than two decades, Nancy Mace did not speak publicly about her rape. In April, when she finally broke her silence, she chose the most public of forums — before her colleagues in South Carolina’s legislature.
A bill was being debated that would ban all abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected; Mace, a Republican lawmaker, wanted to add an exception for rape and incest. When some of her colleagues in the House dismissed her amendment — some women invent rapes to justify seeking an abortion, they claimed — she could not restrain herself.
Using Anti-Choice Law to Criminalize Pregnancy Is Nothing New
Six states have laws on the books making it a crime to self-induce an abortion or obtain one without the involvement of a medical professional.
May 14, 2019
For many years, my organization, National Advocates for Pregnant Women, has warned that anti-abortion measures and related fetal “personhood” laws would be used to criminalize pregnant women—and, indeed, they already are.
Those who had abortions have been targeted for criminal investigations, interrogations, arrests, convictions, and incarceration both before and after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Roe v. Wade. Nevertheless, for many people, the new abortion law passed in Georgia, which may open the door to arresting women, came as a surprise.
Georgia’s Terrible Law Doesn’t Have to Be the Future of Abortion
A self-induced abortion with misoprostol can be a safe, reliable way to end an unwanted pregnancy.
By Cari Sietstra
May 11, 2019
This week, Georgia became the fifth state to ban abortion at six weeks after a last menstrual period, before many people even realize they are pregnant. Its ban goes further than the others, criminalizing doctors and others who help induce abortions, as well as making those who are pregnant, potentially liable for murder if they prompt a pregnancy loss. They could even be liable if they do it in another state.
On Thursday, Alabama postponed a vote on what could be the country’s most restrictive abortion ban.
What Happens When an Activist Bullies Anti-abortion Protesters
Health clinics say that staging counterprotests isn’t just counterproductive—“it’s completely inadvisable.”
May 11, 2019
It’s been a rough week for Brian Sims.
The Pennsylvania Democrat has been pelted with criticism and demands for his resignation from his state House seat in the days since he posted a video of himself aggressively confronting an anti-abortion protester outside a Planned Parenthood clinic. “An old white lady telling people what to do with their bodies? Shame on you!” Sims shouts at the woman in a clip he live-streamed on Periscope. “Push back against Planned Parenthood protesters, PLEASE!” Sims wrote in a message accompanying the video.
Arson attempt, trespassing, and harassment: The consequences of extreme anti-abortion rhetoric
"This kind of language is an invitation to that radical fringe."
Amanda Michelle Gomez
May 6, 2019
Someone tried to light Whole Woman’s Health of McAllen on fire April 8. The Texas abortion clinic, the only provider serving the Rio Grande Valley, where the average household income is just $37,000, has been around for decades. The clinic has proved resilient, outlasting Texas laws that shuttered other clinics like it.
The arsonist struck at night, after hours, when nobody was at the clinic, said Amy Hagstrom Miller, the founder and CEO of Whole Woman’s Health. A neighbor noticed the fire and immediately called 911, so the fire department was able to extinguish the flames before the clinic could be too badly damaged. The clinic remained open, but there was residual smoke damage, and the staff could still smell the accelerant used to burn the clinic’s fence.
'It's not a little child': gynecologists join the fight against six-week abortion bans
Doctors argue that the bans, known as ‘fetal heartbeat’ bills, are medically inaccurate and use misleading language
Adrian Horton in New York
Wed 24 Apr
High-profile gynecologists are criticizing the framing of six-week abortion bans, known as “fetal heartbeat” bills, as medically inaccurate.
The bans, now moving through nearly a dozen state legislatures, propose the strictest limitations on the right to abortion as established by the US supreme court case Roe v Wade in 1973.