By Caroline Kitchener, Kevin Schaul and Daniela Santamariña
Updated April 14 (originally published March 26, 2022)
Two states this week approved bills that ban abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy, the latest actions as Republican-led states move swiftly to restrict abortion access. Kentucky’s ban, passed by the Republican-led legislature over the Democratic governor’s veto, took effect immediately. Florida’s governor signed a ban this week that is set to take effect in July.
While a lot of the bills this year look similar to bills we’ve seen before, the stakes are completely different. In recent years, the most restrictive bans were blocked by the courts, ruled unconstitutional because they violated Supreme Court precedent established in Roe v. Wade, which has protected the constitutional right to abortion for nearly 50 years.
By Ed Kilgore, NY Magazine
FEB. 19, 2022
As we await the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which is widely expected to strike down or at least significantly weaken Roe v. Wade, there has been a flurry of legislative activity in the states, which may soon control abortion policy, as they did in the days before the landmark 1973 ruling. Most of the attention has been on Republican-run states, some of which have long had “trigger laws,” designed to reimpose abortion restrictions the minute the Supreme Court allows them. Now there is even some infighting between red states emulating the Mississippi law the Court is likely to approve, which bans abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy, and those pushing for even more restrictive laws that would ban abortion after six weeks, like Texas’s devious vigilante enforcement statute.
Feb. 17, 2022
By Mary Ziegler
In 2019 a wave of anti-abortion laws swept this country — a common enough event in the United States, where hundreds of such laws have passed during the last decade. But these grabbed the public’s attention in a way many others hadn’t. Georgia banned abortion after about six weeks of pregnancy, or about two weeks after a missed menstrual period. Ohio, Mississippi, Louisiana and Kentucky did the same, while Missouri banned the procedure at eight weeks. Alabama went the furthest, banning virtually all abortions in the state.
Though most of these laws were quickly blocked by the courts — they were obviously unconstitutional under Roe v. Wade — the backlash to their passing was intense, especially in Georgia, a major hub of film and television production. Boycotts were threatened. Netflix and Disney spoke out. The actress Alyssa Milano even tried to get a “Lysistrata”-style sex strike off the ground.