Why anti-abortion groups are backing away from abortion bans
Debate around a Tennessee bill shows a big shift in anti-abortion strategy.
By Anna North
Aug 22, 2019
When legislators in Tennessee debated a bill earlier this month that would ban abortion as soon as a pregnancy can be detected, opposition came from a surprising place: anti-abortion groups.
Though the groups National Right to Life and Tennessee Right to Life oppose abortion, they also oppose the Tennessee ban, because they believe it would never stand up in court. If such a ban were to make it to the Supreme Court, the groups worry it would fail: “There is no objective evidence that we have more than one vote to overturn Roe v. Wade,” said James Bopp, general counsel of the National Right to Life Committee, which describes itself as “the nation’s oldest and largest pro-life organization,” in testimony against the bill.
As States Race to Limit Abortions, Alabama Goes Further, Seeking to Outlaw Most of Them
By Timothy Williams and Alan Blinder
May 8, 2019
MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Amid a flurry of new limits on abortion being sought in states around the nation, Alabama is weighing a measure that would go further than all of them — outlawing most abortions almost entirely.
The effort in Alabama, where the State Senate could vote as soon as Thursday, is unfolding as Republicans, emboldened by President Trump and the shifting alignment of the Supreme Court, intensify a long-running campaign to curb abortion access.
Heartbeat Abortion Bills Were Once a Fringe Idea. Could They Overturn Roe v. Wade?
Three states have enacted heartbeat bills. Ten more are considering them.
When anti-abortion activist Janet Porter first introduced the idea of a “heartbeat” bill in 2011, she was almost laughed out of the room. The proposal—to ban abortion after a fetal heartbeat could be detected, or at about six weeks gestation—was so extreme that many of her fellow Republicans thought it was impossible.
A decade later, GOP lawmakers around the country are rushing to adopt Porter’s signature legislation, in hope of forcing the conservative-majority U.S. Supreme Court to re-examine Roe v. Wade. Georgia is poised to become the third state to enact such a ban in the first three months of 2019 alone. Ten other states are currently considering the legislation, which experts say would ban abortions before most women know they are pregnant.
Brett Kavanaugh could shatter the alliance between the GOP and the antiabortion movement
Overturning Roe v. Wade would leave little to unite Republicans and their longtime allies.
By Mary Ziegler
Brett M. Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing is a triumphant moment for both the Republican Party and its social movement allies, especially antiabortion organizations. For years, these groups have built a strategic alliance with the GOP. This partnership centers on activists’ hope that Republican presidents would nominate Supreme Court justices who would overturn Roe v. Wade. After the first day of Kavanaugh’s hearings, the marriage between the Republican Party and the antiabortion movement seems closer than ever.
But if a post-Kavanaugh court overturns Roe, this alliance could fracture, costing the GOP the loyalty of antiabortion voters.
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.