In places where abortion is now illegal, a range of pregnancy losses could be subject to state scrutiny.
By Melissa Jeltsen
JULY 1, 2022
Before last week, women attempting to have their pregnancies terminated in states hostile to abortion rights already faced a litany of obstacles: lengthy drives, waiting periods, mandated counseling, throngs of volatile protesters. Now they face a new reality. Although much is still unknown about how abortion bans will be enforced, we have arrived at a time when abortions—and even other pregnancy losses—might be investigated as potential crimes. In many states across post-Roe America, expect to see women treated like criminals.
On Friday, the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, ending abortion as a constitutional right. Nearly half of U.S. states either are in the process of implementing trigger bans—which were set up to outlaw abortions quickly after Roe was overturned—or seem likely to soon severely curtail abortion access. Reproductive-rights experts told me that in the near future, they expect to see more criminal investigations and arrests of women who induce their own abortions, as well as those who lose pregnancies through miscarriage and stillbirth.
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?"
January 4, 2022
If a music lovers’ society kidnaps you and attaches you at the kidneys to a famous violinist with a fatal disease, are you required to stay and keep him alive for nine months until he recovers?
This is the well-known thought experiment posed by the late American philosopher Judith Jarvis Thomson in “A Defense of Abortion.” The essay was published prior to Roe vs. Wade, the 1973 United States Supreme Court ruling that held that the U.S. Constitution protects a woman’s right to abortion without excessive government restriction.
by CLAIRE GOTHREAU, Ms. Magazine
Just over a week ago, the Supreme Court indicated they would hear a case that presents the most serious challenge to abortion access since 1992. The case, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization concerns Mississippi’s Gestational Act, which limits abortion to just the first 15 weeks of pregnancy. This law, if upheld, would be in direct violation of Roe v. Wade, the landmark ruling that established the constitutional right to abortion before fetal viability, which is generally understood to be around 24 weeks. This is the first time the court will consider abortion rights since former President Trump appointed three conservative justices, giving conservatives the majority.
By Nora Ellmann
August 27, 2020
So far in 2020, there have been a number of important wins for abortion rights in the courts. In the U.S. Supreme Court, Louisiana’s unconstitutional admitting privileges law was struck down in June Medical Services v. Russo.1 In the lower courts, a federal district court in Maryland ruled that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration must suspend enforcement of a medically unnecessary restriction on access to medication abortion until 30 days after the end of the COVID-19 public health emergency.2 Also in Maryland, a district court vacated and enjoined a Trump administration rule that would have required separate insurance payments for abortion care and all other health care for people insured by certain plans under the Affordable Care Act.3 And a district court in Georgia struck down the state’s six-week abortion ban, which would have banned abortion at a point before most people even know they are pregnant.4
The fate of Roe v. Wade is more uncertain than ever
Published: July 17, 2020
By Mary Ziegler
When the Supreme Court handed down its ruling striking down a Louisiana law that would have limited abortion access in that state, progressives celebrated. Their reasoning on June 29 was simple: By joining the court’s liberal justices, Chief Justice John Roberts had proven his commitment to the principle of precedent.
But the court had also sent several cases — all big wins for abortion rights — back to lower courts for reconsideration.
Abortion Bans Are Bad Medicine—Especially During a Pandemic
by Aliza Norwood, MD and Anu Kapadia
As doctors on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are putting our lives on the line to to care for our patients. Yet while our patients and colleagues suffer, governors across the nation are using the pandemic as a political tool to ban abortions. Rather than listen to the very doctors they say they are protecting, these lawmakers are defying medical evidence and expert recommendation.
In our home state of Texas, Governor Abbott’s coronavirus-related executive order on March 22 to delay all “non-essential” surgeries and procedures was interpreted by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton to include nearly all abortions. A dizzying back-and-forth battle between the AG and pro-choice groups went all the way to the Supreme Court before the state blinked and announced the ban was “over” on April 22.
The downfall of Roe v. Wade started in 2010
Abortion access in America hangs by a thread. The unraveling began a decade ago.
By Anna North
Dec 23, 2019
This year, five states passed laws banning abortion before most people know they’re pregnant. Alabama passed a ban on the procedure at any stage of pregnancy, with no exceptions for rape or incest. In Ohio, lawmakers introduced a bill that would create a crime called “abortion murder,” punishable by life in prison.
For many, restrictions like these would have been unthinkable just a few years ago. But as we look ahead to 2020, the anti-abortion movement could be on the brink of its biggest success yet: dismantling the landmark Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade.
The Last Decade Was Disastrous For Abortion Rights. Advocates Are Trying To Figure Out What’s Next.
This year, the battle over abortion rights reached a fever pitch. That’s what this entire decade was building toward.
Ema O'Connor BuzzFeed News Reporter
Posted on December 17, 2019
As the decade draws to a close, the national right to abortion is in the most vulnerable place it’s been in decades.
Since 2010, hundreds of laws restricting abortion access have been enacted all over the country, making the procedure less attainable and forcing abortion clinics to close. The US has gone from having around 1,720 facilities that perform abortions in 2011 to 1,587 in 2017 (the last year reproductive rights group Guttmacher Institute surveyed). As of this year, there are six states with only one abortion clinic left. Twenty-five abortion bans were signed into law in 2019 alone, leading to nationwide protests. Though all, so far, have been blocked by the courts, a major fight over abortion rights at the Supreme Court is yet to come.
State Policy Trends 2019: A Wave of Abortion Bans, But Some States Are Fighting Back
Elizabeth Nash, Guttmacher Institute
Lizamarie Mohammed, Guttmacher Institute
Olivia Cappello, Guttmacher Institute
Sophia Naide, Guttmacher Institute
First published online: December 10, 2019
In 2019, conservative state legislators raced to enact an unprecedented wave of bans on all, most or some abortions, and by the end of the year, 25 new abortion bans had been signed into law, primarily in the South and Midwest. Along with this new strategy, legislators also continued their efforts to adopt other types of abortion restrictions, including requirements for abortion providers to give patients misleading and inaccurate information about the potential to reverse a medication abortion as part of abortion counseling.