USA – The Supreme Court Could Restrict Abortion Sooner Than Previously Thought

The Supreme Court Could Restrict Abortion Sooner Than Previously Thought
Abortion advocates are keeping a close eye on a Louisiana case that could come before the Supreme Court within the next two months

By Tessa Stuart
April 18, 2019

Kathleen Pittman has been the clinic administrator at Hope Medical Group in Shreveport, Louisiana, since 2010. Back when she first took the job, there were seven abortion clinics operating in the state. Today, there are three. Earlier this year, after the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a law that would have required every doctor who provides abortions to have admitting privileges at a local hospital, that number temporarily fell to two. It could have dwindled to just one if the Supreme Court had not stepped in, temporarily blocking the law from going into effect.

On Wednesday, the Center for Reproductive Rights asked the Supreme Court to overturn the Fifth Circuit’s decision, keeping the three clinics left in Louisiana open. And, in an unusual step, they’re asking for the court to overturn the law without a hearing because of its striking similarities to a law the court already struck down three years ago, in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt.

Continued: https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-news/supreme-court-abortion-louisiana-821017/

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Trump’s anti-abortion agenda emboldened an all-out war on women’s rights in dozens of states

Trump's anti-abortion agenda emboldened an all-out war on women's rights in dozens of states
Pro-lifers think they now have the Supreme Court votes to overturn Roe v. Wade. And they're setting up the legal fights to get there.

April 15, 2019
By Jill Filipovic

It’s been a rough two years for reproductive rights. Since Donald Trump took office, a series of attacks on both abortion and contraception have come from the state and federal levels. A re-emboldened anti-abortion movement has emerged, and they’re gunning for major legal changes — and, they hope, a Supreme Court that would overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade decision that made abortion broadly legal across the United States.

What triggered this shift? Trump’s Supreme Court judges — including, most recently, Brett Kavanaugh. How appropriate that opponents of a woman’s right to decide what happens to her body have decided that their best hope is in a Supreme Court made more conservative by a judge accused of sexual assault.

Continued: https://www.nbcnews.com/think/opinion/trump-s-anti-abortion-agenda-emboldened-all-out-war-women-ncna994661

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USA – How Six-Week Abortion Bans Are Fueling a ‘Radical’ Year for Abortion Law

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.

Rosemary Westwood
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.

Continued: https://psmag.com/social-justice/how-six-week-abortion-bans-are-fueling-a-radical-year-for-abortion-law

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Death sentence for abortion? The hypocrisy of US ‘pro-lifers’ is plain to see

Death sentence for abortion? The hypocrisy of US 'pro-lifers' is plain to see
The Texas state legislature is debating a provision that wouldn’t just outlaw abortion, but legally qualify it as homicide. The repercussions are chilling

Jill Filipovic
Thu 11 Apr 2019

Do “pro-life” advocates care about life or do they care about punishment? The latest abortion debate out of Texas gives a clear answer: the goal is to hurt women, not defend life.

The Texas state legislature is debating a provision that wouldn’t just outlaw abortion, but legally qualify it as homicide. For context of how extreme that is, even in the United States before Roe v Wade made abortion broadly legal, the procedure was outlawed in most states but was not considered murder – abortion was its own crime. Texas in 2019 wants to be even more barbaric than that, and turn women who end their pregnancies into felons, killers, and even death row inmates.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/apr/11/death-sentence-abortion-hypocrisy-pro-life

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Texas bill would make it possible to put women to death for having abortions

A Texas bill would make it possible to put women to death for having abortions

By Isaac Stanley-Becker
April 10, 2019

Men and women, young and old, native Texans and immigrants, they rose to ask lawmakers to protect life, describing a “genocide” and foreseeing the arrival of “God’s wrath.”

The act of public atonement they are seeking is passage of a bill that would criminalize abortion without exception, and make it possible to convict women who undergo the procedure of homicide, which can carry the death penalty in Texas. Though it faces steep odds of becoming law, the measure earned a hearing this week amid a larger legislative push in GOP-controlled states to curtail abortion rights, in a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade.

Continued: https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2019/04/10/texas-bill-would-make-it-possible-put-women-death-having-abortions/?utm_term=.f9b0b0b36a0b

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‘Death sentence for women’: Alabama proposes law to make abortion punishable by up to 99 years in prison

'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.

Continued: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/alabama-abortion-crime-pregnancy-trump-administration-us-a8854716.html

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USA – Radical Attempts to Ban Abortion Dominate State Policy Trends in the First Quarter of 2019

Radical Attempts to Ban Abortion Dominate State Policy Trends in the First Quarter of 2019

Guttmacher Institute
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:

Continued: https://www.guttmacher.org/article/2019/04/radical-attempts-ban-abortion-dominate-state-policy-trends-first-quarter-2019

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USA – The two sides are growing further apart on abortion. We can thank Donald Trump.

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.

Continued: https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/2019/04/01/two-sides-are-growing-further-apart-abortion-we-can-thank-donald-trump/?utm_term=.5740db8d04fc

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USA – 250 Abortion Restrictions Have Been Introduced In The U.S. This Year Alone, Report Says

250 Abortion Restrictions Have Been Introduced In The U.S. This Year Alone, Report Says

Andrea González-Ramírez
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.

Continued: https://www.refinery29.com/en-ca/2019/04/228554/abortion-restrictions-41-states-georgia-fetal-heartbeat-bill-report

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USA – The Abortion Divide Gets Deeper

The Abortion Divide Gets Deeper
With Roe threatened, red and blue states are pulling even further apart.

Michelle Goldberg
March 29, 2019

This week, a Georgia state representative, Ed Setzler, the sponsor of a bill that would ban most abortions as soon as a fetal heartbeat could be detected, spoke to a conservative group in the Atlanta suburbs about the legal fight he’d embarked on. “We need to maximize our influence over the next couple of weeks and then close this deal,” he said. Then, he continued, conservatives must mobilize behind Georgia’s Republican governor, Brian Kemp, as “he recruits the best legal team in the nation to take this to the highest court in the land.”

With the ascension of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, as well as a host of other judges appointed by Donald Trump to lower courts, anti-abortion forces are engaged in a game of legislative whack-a-mole. Sensing their chance to either eviscerate or overturn Roe v. Wade, Republicans are pushing a barrage of anti-abortion measures at the state level, seeing which one goes all the way to the top.

Continued: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/29/opinion/abortion-heartbeat-ban-georgia.html

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