Julie Carr Smyth and Kimberlee Kruesi, The Associated Press
Published Wednesday, April 28, 2021
NASHVILLE -- Dr. Michael Cackovic has treated his share of pregnant women. So when Republican lawmakers across the U.S. began passing bans on abortion at what they term "the first detectable fetal heartbeat," he was exasperated.
That's because at the point where advanced technology can detect that first flutter, as early as six weeks, the embryo isn't yet a fetus and it doesn't have a heart.
Opinion by Melissa Murray
April 18, 2021
A federal appeals court last week allowed an Ohio law to take effect that bars doctors from performing abortions on women who choose to end their pregnancies because the fetus has Down syndrome. The law presents a head-on challenge to the right to abortion that could soon land at the Supreme Court — this time interlaced with sensitive questions of race and eugenics.
Such intrusive “reason bans,” which have been enacted around the country, are controversial — and almost immediately challenged — because they prohibit abortion before fetal viability. Most courts have applied the Supreme Court’s long-standing precedents to strike down such bans.
The ruling means the conservative Supreme Court may be able to decide the Constitution does not protect a woman’s ability to have an abortion.
April 16, 2021
By Jessica Levinson, MSNBC Opinion Columnist
This week, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals lifted an injunction against an Ohio law that makes it a felony for a doctor to perform an abortion if the doctor knows or has reason to believe that a Down syndrome diagnosis, or the possibility of such a diagnosis, influenced the woman’s decision to seek an abortion.
The court ruled 9 to 7 to reverse two lower court decisions that had blocked the 2017 law from going into effect.
Every State That’s Tried to Ban Abortion Over the Coronavirus
By Hannah Gold
Apr. 7, 2020
Just days into the national surge of coronavirus cases, as an increasing amount of states called for nonessential businesses to shut down, some Republican legislators began using the public health crisis as an opportunity to deny health care to patients seeking abortions. The tactic has been replicated in the past couple of weeks, with governors in several states peddling the cynical argument that temporarily banning abortion will help shore up their supply of medical gear for hospitals overwhelmed by the pandemic.
So far, lawmakers in five states — Ohio, Texas, Alabama, Iowa, and Oklahoma — have attempted to halt abortion services indefinitely. As of now, only the Texas order has taken effect, and all of these temporary bans face strong legal challenges. Last week, providers in Alabama, Iowa, Ohio, and Oklahoma filed lawsuits to prevent the orders from taking effect in their states. A similar lawsuit was filed in Texas last week as well.
Federal judges in 3 U.S. states block orders limiting abortion access over COVID-19
Caroline Kelly, CNN
Published Tuesday, March 31, 2020
Federal judges in Alabama, Ohio and Texas have blocked orders banning nonessential medical procedures from limiting abortion access during the coronavirus outbreak, a win for abortion rights activists as the fight over abortion rights intersects with the worsening pandemic.
"Because Alabama law imposes time limits on when women can obtain abortions, the March 27 order is likely to fully prevent some women from exercising their right to obtain an abortion," federal Judge Myron Thompson, from the Middle District of Alabama, wrote Monday. He temporarily halted the order, issued by the state's Health Department earlier this month, until April 13.
States Are Using the Cover of COVID-19 to Restrict Abortion and Healthcare for Women
With constituents distracted by the deadly pandemic, Republican state legislatures across the country are ramping up efforts to limit access to abortion
By Alex Morris
March 30, 2020
On March 18th, as the reality of the coronavirus crisis was becoming painfully apparent to Americans, the Idaho legislature was turning its attention to healthcare concerns of another kind: making sure that women were denied access to abortion at some nebulous future date. Across the country, state legislatures had gone into recess, heeding the social distancing advice of medical professionals. Not Idaho. For at least an hour on the floor of the House, there was vigorous debate over Senate Bill 1385, a so-called “trigger law” that would immediately criminalize abortion in the state if Roe v. Wade were overturned or a constitutional amendment gave states the right to criminalize it themselves. Under the law, performing an abortion would be a felony, except in instances of officially-reported rape or incest, or to save the life of the mother. “Everyone needs to face the consequences of their own personal choices,” Representative Megan Blanksma said in her closing debate, just before the bill passed 49-18 and made its way to Governor Brad Little’s desk to be signed, which it was last Tuesday.
“Stay Home and Have the Baby”
Texas and Ohio have ordered a stop to abortions, saying they’re not essential medical services. Other states will follow. Right-wing forces are using the pandemic as a pretext to crack down dramatically on abortion rights. We can’t let them.
By Jenny Brown
Texas and Ohio have ordered a stop to abortions, saying they’re not essential medical services, while state officials in Mississippi and Maryland are edging that direction. Their coronavirus prevention program is “Stay home and have the baby.”
The states argued that equipment such as masks used for surgical abortions could be used for care of COVID-19 patients. And they claim if anything goes wrong emergency services would be needed, exaggerating the risk of a safe procedure.
Texas and Ohio Include Abortion as Medical Procedures That Must Be Delayed
The moves by the states set off a new front in the political fight over abortion during the coronavirus pandemic.
by Sabrina Tavernise
Published March 23, 2020
Texas and Ohio have included abortions among the nonessential surgeries and medical procedures that they are requiring to be delayed, setting off a new front in the fight over abortion rights in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic in the United States.
Both states said they were trying to preserve extremely precious protective equipment for health care workers and to make space for a potential flood of coronavirus patients.
Ohio’s attorney general told providers to stop abortions during the coronavirus pandemic
Ohio says abortions are “nonessential” surgeries. Advocates say all abortions are essential.
By Riley Beggin
Mar 22, 2020
Ohio’s attorney general has ordered health care providers in the state to stop all “nonessential and elective surgical abortions,” citing federal guidance intended to help conserve needed medical supplies during the coronavirus pandemic.
There are concerns that, due to the coronavirus, the demand for hospital beds could exceed supply in the US — and medical providers are currently experiencing a severe shortage of the personal protective equipment (PPE) that allows them to safely interact with infected patients. In order to preserve what supply exists, Trump administration officials have asked “every American and every American hospital and healthcare facility to postpone any elective medical procedures.”
In Ohio, A Debate About Whether Abortion Counts As An 'Essential Service'
March 21, 2020
Abortion rights groups are accusing the attorney general of Ohio of using the coronavirus crisis to restrict abortion access after clinics in the state were sent letters this week faulting them for not complying with an order aimed at preserving a limited supply of surgical equipment and protective gear.
In a letter dated on Tuesday, Ohio's Department of Health ordered all non-essential surgical and elective procedures postponed so that protective equipment like masks and gowns can be reserved for doctors caring for coronavirus patients. Ohio has seen 174 coronavirus cases and three deaths.