Democrats argue that the party needs to act more aggressively ahead of the Supreme Court’s ruling expected this summer on a challenge to Roe v. Wade.
by LAURA BARRÓN-LÓPEZ and ALICE MIRANDA OLLSTEIN
For decades, Democrats insisted that Republicans would invite a major voter backlash if they took aggressive action to curtail abortion rights. Now, as a growing number of GOP-led states do just that, passing a slew of bills curtailing abortion with no exemptions for rape and incest, they fear that voters are uninformed or misinformed about the stakes. And they are sounding the alarm that more is needed to engage voters and warn them that the current slate of laws is just the beginning.
Abortion is now effectively illegal in Kentucky, with the state enacting the country’s harshest restrictions so far. We need a mass movement to fight for safe, legal, and free abortion, on demand.
Otto Fors and K.S. Mehta
April 16, 2022
On Wednesday, Kentucky lawmakers essentially banned abortion. Effective immediately, abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy are illegal, except in medical emergencies, with no exceptions for rape or incest.
While abortions before 15 weeks technically remain legal, other provisions in the legislation will make it virtually impossible for doctors to perform the procedure. For example, providers must comply with onerous and invasive reporting requirements about the pregnant person’s past pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections. Providers also need to maintain admitting privileges at local hospitals — an enormous barrier, given that hospitals can deny such privileges at their discretion. Providers who want to prescribe medication abortions, which account for more than half of all abortions in the state, must now also register with the state, but since Kentucky lacks this kind of registration system, they have no way of performing the procedure.
Alison Durkee, Forbes Staff
Apr 1, 2022
TOPLINE A slightly larger share of Americans supports a 15-week abortion ban—which more states are passing and the Supreme Court could soon greenlight—than oppose it, a new Wall Street Journal poll finds, even as most still want abortion to be legal before that point.
The poll found 48% of respondents at least somewhat support restricting abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy, while 43% oppose it.
The share of those who strongly oppose a 15-week ban is higher than the share that strongly support it, however (34% versus 31%).
The first state constitutional protection of reproductive rights hints at the contradictions and fears of a divided movement.
March 14 2022
IF THE SUPREME COURT overturns Roe v. Wade, 26 states are “certain or likely to ban abortion,” according to the Guttmacher Institute. In December, the court heard arguments in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, addressing Mississippi’s Gestational Age Act banning abortion after 15 weeks’ pregnancy. The law is a deliberate violation of Roe, the 1973 ruling legalizing abortion. Most observers expect the conservative majority to rule in Mississippi’s favor. In that case abortion law would revert to the states, where in vast red swaths of this nation it has been so slashed and shredded that it’s already practically confetti.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has been defending abortion in recent lawsuits challenging state restrictions
By TRAVIS LOLLER, Associated Press
8 March 2022
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- As the Supreme Court mulls whether to uphold Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists filed a brief against the state law, calling it “fundamentally at odds with the provision of safe and essential healthcare.”
But the organization’s support for abortion hasn’t always been unequivocal. After the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision guaranteed the right to abortion, American OB-GYNs remained divided on the issue. Many declined to perform elective abortions either out of moral opposition or because they wanted to avoid the “butcher” stigma that still clung to abortion doctors from the pre-Roe days.
Anti-abortion lawmakers are trying a variety of approaches to limit access to the procedure — so that they are prepared to restrict access, no matter how the Supreme Court rules.
Shefali Luthra, Health Reporter
March 7, 2022
Florida’s legislature passed a bill that would ban abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy. Idaho’s Senate approved a bill to block the procedure after six weeks, modeled after Texas’ law. Georgia’s Senate advanced legislation that prohibits using telemedicine for abortion medication. And in Kentucky, the state House voted to pass new restrictions on abortion providers that, if enacted, could effectively shut down clinics in the state.
Legislatures around the country are voting on a variety of abortion restrictions, many of them not in line with the protections that have existed since Roe v. Wade was decided 49 years ago. They’re doing so with an eye on the Supreme Court, set to rule in a case that is widely expected to give more power to states to add limits to the availability of abortion.
In anticipation of the court’s decision, a frenzy of legislative activity to shut down access to abortion forms a picture of a post-Roe America.
By Kate Zernike
March 7, 2022
Both sides of the abortion debate anticipate that come July, the Supreme Court will have overturned Roe v. Wade and with it the constitutional right to abortion, handing anti-abortion activists a victory they have sought for five decades. But from Florida to Idaho, Republican-led state legislatures are not waiting: They are operating as if Roe has already been struck down, advancing new restrictions that aim to make abortion illegal in as many circumstances as possible.
Under Roe, states cannot prohibit abortion before a fetus is viable outside the womb — around 23 weeks into pregnancy. But bills moving through legislatures are outlawing abortion entirely, or at six, 12 or 15 weeks of gestation. On Thursday, Florida passed a 15-week ban even as opponents warned it was unconstitutional so long as Roe stands. In Oklahoma, a Senate committee approved a bill that would prohibit abortion starting 30 days after the “probable” start of a woman’s last monthly period.
March 4, 2022
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Abortions after 15 weeks would be banned in Florida under a bill Republican senators sent to Gov. Ron DeSantis late on Thursday, capping a bitter debate in the statehouse as a looming U.S. Supreme Court decision may limit abortion rights in America.
DeSantis, a Republican, has previously signaled his support for the proposal and is expected to sign it into law.
Paul Constant, Business Insider
Feb 26, 2022
When the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in December for and against a Mississippi law that would ban most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy, Justice Amy Coney Barrett seemed confused why lawyers arguing for legal abortion, as she put it, "focus on the ways in which forced parenting, forced motherhood, would hinder women's access to the workplace and to equal opportunities."
Justice Barrett asked the lawyers, "Why don't the safe-haven laws [in which any mother can give up her new baby to the state for adoption, no questions asked] take care of that problem?"
By removing even exceptions for rape from their anti-abortion legislation, Republican politicians are finally starting to say the quiet part out loud.
By Kylie Cheung
Feb 22, 2022
Anti-abortion politicians have always been clear on one thing: Abortion is murder. But for years, this “logic” hasn’t held up against their occasional concession that abortion bans make exceptions for rape. Of course, if these politicians genuinely believed that abortion is murder, they wouldn’t allow any concession at all. Instead, they have long used the rape exception to have it both ways, claiming to simultaneously care about women and also be “pro-life”—two antithetical positions to take.
This dynamic is beginning to shift. Since the much-publicized feud between Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene and fellow Republican Rep. Nancy Mace last December over whether abortion bans should include rape exceptions at all, a string of recent proposed and enacted state abortion bans have been made in Taylor Greene’s image more so than Mace’s.