The Invisible Hand of Justice Stevens on Abortion

The Invisible Hand of Justice Stevens on Abortion
He was a leading if often unseen strategist who helped protect a woman’s right to choose.

By Linda Greenhouse
July 20, 2019

During the days following the death last Tuesday of Justice John Paul Stevens, admirers posted lists of their favorite and not-so-favorite Stevens opinions. Free speech on the internet? A great one. No First Amendment protection for burning an American flag? Not so great. Access to federal court for Guantánamo detainees? Definitely. Upholding an Indiana voter ID requirement? Hmm …

Items on these lists, posted on blogs and websites, ranged widely. Missing, however, were opinions dealing with abortion. That’s surprising, since Justice Stevens wrote opinions in many of the abortion cases that came before the court during his 35-year tenure.


USA – Supreme Court Rejects Alabama Bid to Bar Common Abortion Method

Supreme Court Rejects Alabama Bid to Bar Common Abortion Method

By Greg Stohr
June 28, 2019

The U.S. Supreme Court steered clear of the nation’s fractious abortion debate, refusing to consider Alabama’s effort to ban the most common method used for women in their second trimester of pregnancy.

The state was seeking to revive a ban on a method, known as dilation and evacuation, that involves dismembering the fetus and then removing it from the uterus. Alabama called the procedure a “particularly gruesome type of abortion” that states have the power to prohibit.


Podcast: Roe V Wade

Roe V Wade

Listen now (29 minute podcast)
Sunday 2 June 2019
Radio National Australia, Rear Vision

States across America are passing heartbeat laws, which aim to outlaw abortions at any stage of pregnancy with no exceptions for rape or incest.

They are reigniting debate in the US around abortion and threatening to overturn the famous 1973 Roe V Wade decision.


USA – Why draconian anti-abortion laws are likely doomed

Why draconian anti-abortion laws are likely doomed

By Carliss Chatman
Wed May 29, 2019

(CNN)The Supreme Court provided a strong illustration Tuesday of the approach the majority of the court may take when it comes to the abortion issue: avoid making a decision unless it is absolutely necessary.

The court decided 7-2 to uphold an Indiana law specifying requirements for disposing of fetal remains by abortion providers. But it also declined to consider the portion of the law that bars abortion providers from terminating pregnancies because of fetal characteristics, like gender, race or disability. In doing so, the justices are signaling that the recent draconian abortion laws will not succeed in overturning settled law on a woman's right to abortion.


U.S. anti-abortion activists once ‘chipped away’ at Roe vs. Wade — now they’ve picked up a sledgehammer

U.S. anti-abortion activists once 'chipped away' at Roe vs. Wade — now they've picked up a sledgehammer
Some fear future of 1973 ruling on abortion could be in doubt under a conservative-leaning Supreme Court

Matt Kwong · CBC News
Posted: May 22, 2019

The anti-abortion movement is hitting an aggressive new stride in the United States. Whether it breaks into a sprint toward the Supreme Court is worrying reproductive rights activists amid a renewed push to reverse the long-standing precedent that legalized abortions.

As part of a frenzy of recent legislative activity, Alabama and Missouri last week sought to criminalize nearly all abortions in a bid to dismantle Roe vs. Wade, the landmark 1973 decision that legalized a woman's right to have the procedure.


Poll: Most Americans disapprove of the Alabama abortion ban

Poll: Most Americans disapprove of the Alabama abortion ban

Most also support upholding Roe v. Wade.
By Li Zhou
May 22, 2019

Poll after poll is now showing the same national reaction to Alabama’s near-total ban on abortion: Most Americans don’t support it.

According to a Morning Consult/Politico poll out this week, 56 percent of Americans do not approve of other states passing a law similar to the one in Alabama that bars abortion in almost all cases except when a mother’s life is in danger. In a HuffPost/YouGov poll, a very similar proportion — 57 percent — also disapproved of the law.


USA – Unprecedented Wave of Abortion Bans is an Urgent Call to Action

Unprecedented Wave of Abortion Bans is an Urgent Call to Action

Elizabeth Nash, Guttmacher Institute
First published online: May 22, 2019

2019 has become the year when antiabortion politicians make clear that their ultimate agenda is banning abortion outright, at any stage in pregnancy and for any reason.

For years, antiabortion efforts have publicly focused on more incremental or administrative measures, such as targeted regulation of abortion providers (TRAP) laws that severely undermine access but are designed not to appear as a frontal assaults on abortion rights.

Now, abortion opponents have dropped all pretenses. With a conservative U.S. Supreme Court poised to gut or overturn Roe v. Wade, radical and expansive abortion bans are being enacted as part of a long-term strategy to advance these cases to the Supreme Court.


USA – A Supreme Court Reporter Defines the Threat to Abortion Rights

A Supreme Court Reporter Defines the Threat to Abortion Rights

By Isaac Chotiner
May 14, 2019

The past two weeks have been some of the worst on record for abortion rights in the U.S. Last week, the governor of Georgia, Brian Kemp, signed a bill that outlaws abortion after six weeks of pregnancy. Now Alabama is planning to go a step further, with the country’s most extreme anti-abortion law. Under the proposed legislation, abortion would be criminalized, with no exceptions for cases of rape or incest; doctors could face a ninety-nine-year prison sentence for terminating a pregnancy. The Alabama House has passed the bill, and the Senate is expected to vote on the measure on Tuesday evening.

Both the Georgia and Alabama laws are sure to be challenged in court, but the legal climate surrounding abortion is different than it was just last year. After the replacement of the Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy with Justice Brett Kavanaugh, Chief Justice John Roberts is the swing vote, and many conservatives have reason to hope that the Court will rule in favor of new restrictions on abortion and eventually even overturn Roe v. Wade.


USA – The Supreme Court Just Outlined How It Might Get Rid of Abortion Rights

The Supreme Court Just Outlined How It Might Get Rid of Abortion Rights
To overrule Roe v. Wade, the Court’s five conservatives will first have to explain why they’re setting aside a 46-year-old precedent. A separate case decided this week provides hints about how they’ll do it.

By Jay Willis
May 13, 2019

On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court released its opinion in Franchise Tax Board of California v. Hyatt, in which the Court's five-justice conservative bloc determined that state governments enjoy sovereign immunity — that is, they cannot be sued as a matter of law — in both their own state's courts and in the courts of other states, too.

This case is notable not only because of its implications for the future of litigating certain interstate civil claims. To reach its conclusion in Hyatt, the majority first had to overturn a 40-year-old Supreme Court case that reached the opposite conclusion, over the vociferous protestations of the four-justice liberal minority. At a moment when anti-choice activists are working diligently to get a case before the Court that will allow its five conservative justices to overturn the 46-year-old precedent of Roe v. Wade, thereby gutting abortion rights in this country, Hyatt functions as a tidy preview of that coming showdown. And the result should make pro-choice advocates very nervous.


As States Race to Limit Abortions, Alabama Goes Further, Seeking to Outlaw Most of Them

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.