How Six-Week Abortion Bans Are Fueling a 'Radical' Year for Abortion Law
The bans mark an unprecedented year for abortion legislation—and a potential political turning point.
Apr 12, 2019
The projected political reckoning of abortion rights has arrived. Abortion bills, as expected, dominated state legislatures in early 2019, pushing the issue ever closer to the United States Supreme Court.
Among the 28 states considering abortion bans in the first four months of the year, a handful of the most conservative are aiming to ban abortion at just six weeks' gestation—when an embryonic "heartbeat" (doctors use the term cardiac activity, and embryos don't have hearts so much as tissues that will become the heart) can be detected. Abortion rights groups say the measures are so extreme that they effectively amount to outright abortion bans, since few women who want abortions would be able to access them before the cut-off, or perhaps even know they're pregnant.
'Death sentence for women': Alabama proposes law to make abortion punishable by up to 99 years in prison
Bill would even criminalise performing abortions in cases of rape and incest
Maya Oppenheim, Women's Correspondent
Apr 4, 2019
Alabama is proposing a law that would make carrying out an abortion at any stage of the pregnancy punishable by 10 to 99 years in jail.
The strict abortion ban, which has been branded a “death sentence for women”, would even criminalise performing abortions in cases of rape and incest.
Radical Attempts to Ban Abortion Dominate State Policy Trends in the First Quarter of 2019
First published online: April 3, 2019
Abortion rights took center stage in state legislatures during the first three months of 2019. While a number of states took steps to protect abortion access, these efforts were overshadowed by attempts to restrict abortion access. Indeed, antiabortion policymakers wasted no time revealing their true agenda: banning abortion.
Although the overall number of abortion restrictions introduced so far in 2019 was essentially the same as in the first quarter of 2018, the extreme nature of this year’s bills is unprecedented. In particular, conservative state legislatures are looking to enact abortion bans in the hopes of kick-starting litigation that will give the U.S. Supreme Court, and its majority of conservative justices, ample opportunity to undermine or eliminate abortion rights. Legislation under consideration in 28 states would ban abortion in a variety of ways:
The two sides are growing further apart on abortion. We can thank Donald Trump.
Why states are adopting more extreme abortion policies.
By Mary Ziegler
April 1, 2019
In recent weeks, Republican lawmakers nationwide seemed to have upped the ante when it comes to abortion, passing “heartbeat bills” — laws prohibiting abortion when doctors can detect a fetal heartbeat, usually around the sixth week of pregnancy — and triggering legislation that will criminalize abortions as soon as the Supreme Court gives the green light.
What is going on? The New York Times editorial board recently suggested that state legislatures had run out of other restrictions to pass. But antiabortion lawyers have never had a problem coming up with new incremental laws. Understood in historical context, the complete story behind the rise of heartbeat laws is more complex and tells us how much the politics of abortion have changed in the past few years.
250 Abortion Restrictions Have Been Introduced In The U.S. This Year Alone, Report Says
April 1, 2019
Amid constant news of unconstitutional abortion bans like Georgia's "fetal heartbeat bill," passed on Friday, a new report found that anti-choice lawmakers in 41 states have introduced over 250 bills restricting access to abortion care in the first months of 2019 alone. The report was released on Wednesday by the Planned Parenthood Federation of America and Guttmacher Institute.
For years, conservative lawmakers have relentlessly introduced and passed measures such as waiting periods, targeted regulation of abortion providers (TRAP) laws, limits on abortion medication, and restrictions that dictate at which point in their pregnancies women can terminate them. The anti-choice crusade has led to an uptick in abortion deserts, places where people have to travel 100 miles or more to access care. A total of six states has been left with only one abortion provider to serve the entire state.