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.
Here are the 5 things to watch for next in the abortion debate
Most legislatures in antiabortion states are out for the summer. But bills are still being debated by lawmakers and challenged in the courts.
June 10, 2019
Since January, when most state legislatures convened for their first session since Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh was confirmed to the Supreme Court, there has been a flurry of far-right abortion legislation. Nine states have passed bills narrowing the time period in which women can legally access abortion. Alabama has effectively banned abortion altogether. (The bills have not yet taken effect, and many have already been challenged in court.)
While a handful of states stay in session year-round, most state legislatures have adjourned for the year. That means there probably won’t be much more antiabortion legislation passed in 2019.
What Brett Kavanaugh’s Dishonest Anti-Abortion Dissent Reveals About His Supreme Court Agenda
February 17 2019
The most obvious thing about the Supreme Court’s decision to stay a Louisiana law that would have shuttered two of the state’s three remaining abortion clinics is that it was Chief Justice John Roberts who stopped that from happening. Roberts joined the court’s four more liberal justices to deliver a 5-4 majority that maintains the status quo, for now, and keeps the clinics open.
What is perhaps less obvious, at least at first glance, is the level of intellectual dishonesty baked into a four-page dissent penned by the court’s newest justice, Brett Kavanaugh.
At least 20 abortion cases are in the pipeline to the Supreme Court. Any one could gut Roe v. Wade.
Today’s emotional rhetoric has parallels to another politically volatile period in the early 1990s.
By Ariana Eunjung Cha
February 15, 2019
The Supreme Court’s 5-to-4 vote this month to block a restrictive Louisiana abortion law from taking effect provided some measure of consolation to reproductive rights advocates who feared the court’s new conservative majority would act immediately to restrict access to the procedure.
But that relief is likely to be short lived. In the pipeline are at least 20 lawsuits, in various stages of judicial review, that have the potential to be decided in ways that could significantly change the rights laid out in the 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling, and refined almost two decades later in Planned Parenthood v. Casey. The 1992 decision said a state may place restrictions on abortion as long as it does not create an “undue burden” on a woman’s right to abortion.
When Judges Defy the Supreme Court
The chief justice faces a time of great testing, both of himself and of the institution he heads, as the lower courts move rapidly even to his right.
By Linda Greenhouse, Contributing Opinion Writer
Feb. 14, 2019
No, I wasn’t surprised last week, as most people apparently were, when Chief Justice John Roberts cast the deciding fifth vote to preserve access to abortion in Louisiana for at least a little while longer. In fact, I had predicted it (and I have witnesses).
Why? Not because I think the chief justice has developed a soft spot in his heart for the right to abortion. He has not. Not because he wants to minimize the Supreme Court’s role as a combatant in the culture wars. I think he does, but that’s not the point.
Rather, circumstances compelled the chief justice to stand up to a stunning act of judicial defiance.
John Roberts plays a waiting game on ‘Roe v. Wade’
By Harry Litman, Contributing columnist
February 13, 2019
The Supreme Court last week suspended a Louisiana abortion law, the justices' first significant action in an abortion case since the appointment of Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh. What does the decision portend for the future of Roe v. Wade in particular and reproductive rights in general?
The case, June Medical Services v. Gee, centers on a challenge to a provision in the Louisiana law (named, tellingly, “the Unsafe Abortion Protection Act”) requiring doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at hospitals within 30 miles of the clinic where they perform abortions. The ostensible idea is to have quick access to a hospital in the event something goes awry, threatening the health of the mother. Critics argued that the effect of the law would be to reduce to one (from the current four) the number of doctors who can perform abortions at the state’s three operating clinics.
A so-called victory shows how the Supreme Court will kill ‘Roe v. Wade’
By Leah Litman
February 8 2019
The Supreme Court gave reproductive justice advocates an unexpected win on Thursday night when it voted 5 to 4 to stay a court of appeals’ decision that could have closed abortion clinics in Louisiana. The chief justice joined the four more liberal justices in voting to prevent the Louisiana law from going into effect. That small achievement underscores how much progressives stand to lose with the new court and how low our standards for victory have become.
At issue in June Medical Services v. Gee is a Louisiana law that requires abortion providers to obtain admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of where the providers perform abortions. Just two and a half years ago, the Supreme Court held that very same requirement unconstitutional when Texas enacted it.