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.

Continued: https://www.cbc.ca/news/world/anti-abortion-roe-v-wade-us-law-analysis-1.5144110

Read more

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.

Continued: https://www.vox.com/2019/5/22/18635563/poll-alabama-abortion-ban-law-democrats-republicans-2020

Read more

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.

Continued: https://www.guttmacher.org/article/2019/05/unprecedented-wave-abortion-bans-urgent-call-action

Read more

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.

Continued: https://www.newyorker.com/news/q-and-a/a-supreme-court-reporter-defines-the-threat-to-abortion-rights

Read more

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.

Continued: https://www.gq.com/story/supreme-court-hyatt-abortion-rights

Read more

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.

Continued: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/08/us/abortion-alabama-ban.html

Read more

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/

Read more

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

Read more

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

Read more

Heartbeat Abortion Bills Were Once a Fringe Idea. Could They Overturn Roe v. Wade?

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.
Emily Shugerman
03.29.19

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.

Continued: https://www.thedailybeast.com/heartbeat-abortion-legislation-championed-by-janet-porter-was-once-a-fringe-idea-now-could-it-overturn-roe-v-wade

Read more