USA – The Insidious Legal Movement to Make Pregnant Women Second-Class Citizens Is Growing

And the Supreme Court may only fuel it.

BY JILL FILIPOVIC
MAY 13, 2024

Should the very state of being pregnant place women in a subclass of citizen, vulnerable to criminal prosecution or civil penalties for behavior that would be perfectly legal from a nonpregnant person? Judging by their proposed legislation and various legal antics, the anti-abortion movement says: Yes. Pregnant women simply should not have the same rights as any other U.S. citizen.

Take, for example, efforts to criminalize the crossing of state lines for abortion. There is a very, very long tradition in the U.S. of allowing people to travel out of state to access medical care, and it’s so deeply ingrained we barely think about it.

Continued: https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2024/05/abortion-pregnancy-law-emtala-scotus-medical-care.html


Why abortion is on the ballot everywhere

Opinion by Mary Ziegler
Sun May 12, 2024

The 2024 election has prompted an avalanche of stories about the places where abortion is on the ballot. Usually, these stories zero in on the states that are likely to have reproductive rights propositions on the ballot in November (such a ballot initiative is already going forward in two states, Florida and Maryland, and additional measures could be on the ballot in ten other states by the fall).

Ballot initiatives are certainly important. In states with gerrymandered legislatures and limited partisan competition, such measures allow voters to set abortion policy directly.

Continued: https://edition.cnn.com/2024/05/12/opinions/abortion-ballot-initiatives-florida-supreme-court-ziegler/index.html


“My abortion story went viral – because even though I wanted it, the process was still painful”

Choosing to end my pregnancy was an easy decision, says influencer Nelly London, but the emotions around it weren’t as clear-cut

Nelly London, as told to Jennifer Savin
07 MAY 2024

For years, I’ve taken regular pregnancy tests – just for peace of mind – and never once have I seen a positive result. Until two months ago.

…My work is a little unusual in the sense that I’m an influencer who speaks openly about body image, taboos and sex, so I actually filmed myself looking at the pregnancy test and captured the exact moment I found out. In the back of my mind, I thought I might one day make a video about celebrating negative pregnancy tests – not about abortion – just something along the lines of ‘I'm 30 and every month, I'm thrilled to get a negative test and if you're childfree by choice, maybe you feel similarly’. Then one day it was positive.

Continued: https://www.cosmopolitan.com/uk/reports/a44255432/nelly-london-abortion-video/


The Six-Week Abortion Ban in Florida Is Only the Beginning

The history of these bans suggests they’re far from the anti-abortion movement’s endgame.

BY MARY ZIEGLER
MAY 01, 2024

Florida has long been a destination state for abortion-seekers in a region defined by sweeping criminal bans. And, despite being under Republican control, Florida had long been a place with one of the highest abortion rates in the nation. Yet this week, a six-week ban signed into law by Gov. Ron DeSantis in April 2023 is set to go into effect. Florida’s law will cut off access for a large number of patients, many of whom will have to travel as far as North Carolina and Virginia, where clinics have already reported long waiting periods and struggles to meet demand.

Six-week bans block a sizable share of abortions—as of 2021, nearly 60 percent of procedures in Florida occured after that point in pregnancy. But the history of six-week bans like Florida’s suggests that this will not be the stopping point for the anti-abortion movement. Six-week bans were designed to be a stopgap in the fight for fetal personhood.

Continued: https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2024/05/florida-six-week-abortion-ban-only-the-beginning.html


The US supreme court heard one of the most sadistic, extreme anti-abortion cases yet

Idaho’s law requires doctors to treat pregnant women’s health as disposable – and the loss of their lives as an acceptable risk

Moira Donegan
Thu 25 Apr 2024

The risk of stating plainly what Idaho argued at the US supreme court on Wednesday morning is that it is so sadistic and extreme that people might not believe you. Idaho has one of the most restrictive abortion bans in the country. Prohibiting all abortions at any stage of gestation, with no exceptions for rape or incest, the Idaho law allows doctors to perform abortions in cases where the life – but not “merely” the health – of the pregnant woman is at risk.

In practice, this has wound up being a ban on abortions needed to save women’s lives: according to Idaho hospitals, six pregnant women experiencing medical emergencies have had to be airlifted across state lines to hospitals in states with life and health exemptions in the months since Idaho began enforcing its abortion ban. One way to describe this state of affairs is to say that Idaho’s abortion law has come into conflict with medical best practice. Another way to describe it is to say that the law has forced pregnant women to flee the state for their lives.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2024/apr/25/supreme-court-idaho-anti-abortion-case


“Abortionist”: The Label That Turns Healthcare Workers Into Criminals

The moniker has branded those who help terminate pregnancies as illegitimate, dangerous, and, in turn, allowable targets of violence.

KATIE HERCHENROEDER, Mother Jones
May/June 2024 issue (posted April 15)

In 2007, after Paul Ross Evans pleaded guilty to leaving a bomb outside of a women’s health clinic in Austin, he assured the judge: He never meant for anyone to get hurt. “Except,” he clarified, “for the abortionists.”

For almost two centuries, the moniker “abortionist” has branded those who help terminate pregnancies as illegitimate, dangerous, and, in turn, allowable targets of violence. Before Roe v. Wade, the label turned midwives and doctors into criminals to be cracked down on by the state. After the 1973 decision, right-wing movements continued to deploy the term to imply only back-alley doctors performed abortions.

https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2024/04/abortionist-the-label-that-turns-healthcare-workers-into-criminals/


Trump’s latest claim? That he has moderate abortion views – but don’t be fooled

This week in patriarchy: Trump is walking a tricky tightrope trying to appeal to his evangelical base and moderate voters. His solution? A bunch of contradictory nonsense

Arwa Mahdawi
Sat 13 Apr 2024

Trump’s abortion conundrum
In recent years, Donald Trump has sold NFTs, sneakers, and bibles. Now the perennial marketer is busy selling a new and improved version of himself to voters. Meet Don 2.0: a reasonable man with moderate views on abortion.

Hang on a second, you might say. Trump? The guy who, in 2016, said “there has to be some form of punishment” for women who get abortions? The guy who can’t stop bragging about how he is responsible for overturning Roe v Wade because he filled the supreme court with conservative justices? The guy who, just a few weeks ago, was pondering a 15-week national abortion ban? That guy has now moderated his views on abortion.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2024/apr/13/donald-trump-abortion-rights-views


The Biggest Thing Missing From Joe Biden’s State of the Union

BY DAVID S. COHEN, GREER DONLEY, AND RACHEL REBOUCHE
MARCH 08, 2024

On Thursday night, President Joe Biden gave an energetic and compelling State of the Union address that centered reproductive freedom. It was the second topic he addressed, behind only threats to democracy, abroad with Putin and at home with Trump. In turning to reproductive rights, Biden was able to showcase the powerful stories of his invited guests, like Kate Cox and Latorya Beasley, to underscore the real harms of anti-abortion policies.

There was a lot to appreciate in his speech, but there were missed opportunities.  Reproductive rights and justice advocates immediately noticed that Biden did not say the word “abortion”—a recurring issue for the president. But we noticed the omission of another word, which we think is possibly even more significant given the coming election: Comstock.

Continued: https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2024/03/abortion-comstock-act-joe-biden-state-of-the-union.html


The Right-Wing War on Abortion Has Nothing to Do With Babies

Coverage of the recent controversy over IVF has made a perilous omission: This is a battle over body autonomy.

Jessica M. Goldstein
March 4, 2024

… But the insidious, vile truth is that the Alabama ruling—as well as all of the statutes and the language of the Alabama state Constitution, a plain reading of which really left the state Supreme Court no choice but to restrict IVF—has got nothing to do with babies. The anti-abortion movement is not about babies. It has never been about babies. It’s about control.

The force behind every anti-abortion policy is not concern for babies or the alleged humanity of unfertilized embryos; it is violent misogyny, plain and simple, with the obvious intent of stripping every person who can get pregnant of their basic human rights.

Continued: https://newrepublic.com/article/179464/abortion-body-autonomy-forced-birth


France adds abortion rights to the constitution. Could it happen in Canada?

France's upgrading of abortion rights is a bold political message in a world that is increasingly veering to the far right.

By Allan Woods, Staff Reporter
Monday, March 4, 2024

PARIS—However linked the two countries' histories, however shared their values, it is difficult to imagine Canada following in France's footsteps to enshrine the right to abortion in the Constitution.

French lawmakers did that Monday in a historic vote at Château de Versailles that puts the ability to end a pregnancy right up there with the country’s famous motto: "Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité."

Continued: https://www.thestar.com/news/world/france-adds-abortion-rights-to-the-constitution-could-it-happen-in-canada/article_04bc5ff0-da42-11ee-959b-e3b780f9717f.html