The Court’s new majority has its first chance to take a shot at Roe v. Wade.
By Ian Millhiser
Dec 17, 2020
Last October, the Supreme Court handed down a fairly surprising order in an abortion case.
FDA v. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists concerns whether patients should have an easier time obtaining a pill used in medication abortions while the Covid-19 pandemic is still raging, but the Trump administration saw in the case an opportunity to drastically roll back abortion rights. One of the administration’s arguments could force abortion patients to have unnecessary surgeries instead of receiving a far less invasive medication abortion, and it could potentially deny abortions to many people altogether.
Roe v. Wade Might Be Overturned Soon — This Is Worse Than You Think
OCTOBER 20, 2020
Angel Kai’s* heart sank when she found out she was pregnant again. The 20-year-old had delivered her second child only three months prior. She was on unpaid maternity leave from her job in Amarillo, TX, and she’d just received a $130 electricity bill in the mail that she didn’t know if she’d be able to pay. “Everything that was happening financially was just bad,” she remembers. “I couldn’t have another kid. I knew getting an abortion would be the best thing, because I couldn’t walk up the street to get a soda if I wanted one at the time. We were that tight on money.”
It turned out, though, that Angel couldn’t even afford the abortion she knew she wanted. Her health plan was offered under state-funded Medicaid, which, in Texas, only covers abortion in cases of life endangerment, rape, and incest. So, Angel Googled “abortion financial help.”
Oct 6, 2020
Tommy Beer, Forbes Staff
TOPLINE Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden said Monday that, if elected, he'll protect abortion rights should the Supreme Court strike down Roe v. Wade, vowing he would enact legislation making Roe v. Wade "the law of the land" if it were overturned by the court, which prompted President Trump to lash out at Biden via Twitter Tuesday morning regarding reproductive rights, still one of the more continuous and divisive issues among the American populace.
by MARTHA BURK
What’s at Stake is a new bi-weekly series of abbreviated excepts from Ms. money editor Martha Burk’s book “Your Voice, Your Vote 2020-2021.”
Abortion was legal in the United States from the time the earliest settlers arrived, until states began to criminalize it in the 1800s. By 1910 it was illegal in all but one state, unless in a doctor’s judgment needed to save the woman’s life.
Since very few abortions could be certified as necessary to save a woman’s life, women were forced into the back alleys. In the years before the Supreme Court legalized the procedure in 1973 with the Roe v. Wade ruling, estimates of illegal abortions ranged as high as 1.2 million per year—some resulting in death.
By Nora Ellmann
August 27, 2020
So far in 2020, there have been a number of important wins for abortion rights in the courts. In the U.S. Supreme Court, Louisiana’s unconstitutional admitting privileges law was struck down in June Medical Services v. Russo.1 In the lower courts, a federal district court in Maryland ruled that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration must suspend enforcement of a medically unnecessary restriction on access to medication abortion until 30 days after the end of the COVID-19 public health emergency.2 Also in Maryland, a district court vacated and enjoined a Trump administration rule that would have required separate insurance payments for abortion care and all other health care for people insured by certain plans under the Affordable Care Act.3 And a district court in Georgia struck down the state’s six-week abortion ban, which would have banned abortion at a point before most people even know they are pregnant.4
A federal appeals court will allow Arkansas to create degrading new hurdles for people seeking abortions.
By Dahlia Lithwick and Mark Joseph Stern
Aug 07, 2020
The Supreme Court’s recent decision in June Medical v. Russo was hailed by many liberal court watchers as a win for reproductive rights, as the court declined to overturn Roe v. Wade and formally eliminate the right to an abortion. On Friday, however, a federal appeals court ruled that June Medical significantly narrowed the constitutional right to abortion access. The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel swept away an injunction that had blocked Arkansas from enforcing a slew of abortion restrictions, including a requirement that patients pregnant as a result of rape notify their rapists before terminating their pregnancy. The appellate court’s decision confirms that Chief Justice John Roberts’ controlling opinion in June Medical will serve as a tool to eviscerate abortion rights. Those who briefly heralded him as a champion of reproductive freedom were too caught up in the halftime show to see the game.
By Val Wilde
August 5, 2020
It’s common knowledge in pro-choice circles that the anti-abortion movement as a whole stops caring about babies’ precious lives as soon as they’ve passed through the birth canal.
For all the emphasis on stopping an abortion from taking place, there’s precious little concern for the real-world problems that may have made abortion seem like a necessity: poverty, food insecurity, housing insecurity, unemployment, lack of access to education, lack of health care, etc.
Aug. 5, 2020
By Megan Burbank, Seattle Times features reporter
“Did you feel they treated you like a person?” The question is posed near the end of the new documentary “Personhood” to Tamara Loertscher, a Wisconsin woman who was imprisoned in 2014 while pregnant after disclosing prior drug use to her doctor; tests showed traces of methamphetamine in her body.
Loertscher and her attorneys have maintained that she stopped using drugs when she found out she was pregnant, but as the case unfolded, her history of drug use and Wisconsin’s “Unborn Child Protection Act” became the state’s justification for giving her fetus more legal rights than she had. Loertscher’s fetus was appointed an attorney; she, initially, was not. When Loertscher refused drug treatment, she was jailed, which effectively cut off the prenatal care she had sought.
Attacks on reproductive freedom have the greatest effect on communities that already face significant barriers to accessing health care.
Jul 20, 2020
Last month, the U.S. Supreme Court blocked the implementation of a law that would have left just one clinic and one doctor authorized to perform abortions in Louisiana, a state of more than 4.5 million people and 50,000 square miles.
Even though four justices ignored the Court’s own precedent, the ruling in June Medical Services v. Russo gave reproductive health, rights, and justice supporters across the country the chance to breathe a sigh of relief. But as we began leafing through the pages of the opinions, cracks started to appear, reminding us that our freedom remains up for grabs and our fight is nowhere near over.
States have passed hundreds of anti-abortion laws in the last few years. At the Supreme Court, we were successful in striking down just one.
Kathaleen Pittman, Opinion contributor
June 30, 2020
For six years, my lawyers have been fighting a law that would have shut down the abortion clinic I run in Shreveport, Louisiana — Hope Medical Group for Women. On Monday, we won in the U.S. Supreme Court, which struck down the law, meaning we can stay open for our patients. I am relieved that the court saw through Louisiana’s deceitful attempts to shut us down, but I'm still deeply worried.
I wish the relentless attempts by politicians to shut down our clinic would finally stop. I know they won’t.