OCTOBER 20, 2020
In 1973, Roe v. Wade made abortion legal across the U.S., but, as is the case with many other laws and landmark decisions, its application throughout the country was anything but simple — or equal. Decades after the Supreme Court’s ruling that a person's freedom to have an abortion without excessive government limitations is constitutionally protected, various restrictions continue to pose obstacles for people seeking abortions. And, with the appointment of several new conservative judges to the Supreme Court, as well as a rise in restrictive abortion legislation being passed at the state level, the road ahead isn’t looking much clearer.
In 2019 alone, 25 new abortion laws were passed — including bans on abortions after six weeks of pregnancy in Mississippi, Kentucky, and Georgia, and a full abortion ban in Alabama.
OCTOBER 20, 2020
Katie realized she was pregnant during the first week of April 2020. She decided pretty quickly that she wanted to terminate the pregnancy. She already had two kids, and she’d just been diagnosed with high blood pressure. The condition was still uncontrolled, which made her pregnancy high-risk. But it was just weeks into the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S. She was in full lockdown, and she wasn’t sure if she could get an abortion.
"I was Googling abortions," she tells Refinery29. "My biggest thing was not wanting to actually go to a place." Besides being afraid of catching the virus, the nearest clinic to Katie was six hours away from her home in New Mexico, and she wasn’t sure how she’d find the time to get there.
Roe v. Wade Might Be Overturned Soon — This Is Worse Than You Think
OCTOBER 20, 2020
Angel Kai’s* heart sank when she found out she was pregnant again. The 20-year-old had delivered her second child only three months prior. She was on unpaid maternity leave from her job in Amarillo, TX, and she’d just received a $130 electricity bill in the mail that she didn’t know if she’d be able to pay. “Everything that was happening financially was just bad,” she remembers. “I couldn’t have another kid. I knew getting an abortion would be the best thing, because I couldn’t walk up the street to get a soda if I wanted one at the time. We were that tight on money.”
It turned out, though, that Angel couldn’t even afford the abortion she knew she wanted. Her health plan was offered under state-funded Medicaid, which, in Texas, only covers abortion in cases of life endangerment, rape, and incest. So, Angel Googled “abortion financial help.”
BY KATE SMITH, CBS NEWS
OCTOBER 5, 2020
In the wake of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's death, millions of Americans wondered what the future of abortion access might look like. They won't wait long to find out.
Any day now, the current eight-justice Supreme Court is expected to issue its first decision on abortion access. The case, Food and Drug Administration v. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, considers abortion via pill and whether patients, in the midst of a deadly pandemic, should still be required to make an in-person trip to a doctor's office in order to receive the medication.
The administration issued a new policy explicitly preventing ORR staff from blocking minors in its care from obtaining abortions or disclosing their pregnancies.
Ema O'Connor and Zoe Tillman
September 29, 2020
After three years of arguing in court to block pregnant, undocumented teenagers in government custody from obtaining abortions, the Trump administration dropped the fight on Tuesday, announcing it had officially changed its policy.
The new policy makes clear that the Office of Refugee Resettlement, the branch of the Department of Health and Human Services that oversees undocumented minors and those seeking asylum in the US, must allow teenagers in its custody to obtain abortions.
Both abortion advocates and opponents have used the COVID-19 crisis to further their policy goals.
Carrie N. Baker
Sep 21, 2020
The gendered dimensions of the political response to the COVID-19 crisis are manifesting clearly in efforts to close abortion clinics, as well as in campaigns led by doctors, lawyers, and reproductive rights advocates to expand access to telemedicine abortion during the pandemic and beyond.
Anti-abortion politicians in states across the country have used the COVID-19 pandemic to attempt to restrict abortion, arguing that abortion is not essential health care and that banning the procedure will conserve personal protective equipment for COVID-19 cases. In March and April of 2020, 12 states tried to restrict abortion, including Alaska, Iowa, Louisiana, Mississippi, and West Virginia, among others. Legislators in Kentucky passed a bill to allow the state’s Attorney General to block abortion access during COVID-19, but the Kentucky governor vetoed the bill.
They're asking the FDA to declare the pill used in about 40% of abortions an “imminent hazard to public health.”
By Carter Sherman
September 2, 2020
Sen. Ted Cruz is leading the charge on a Hail Mary plea to the Food and Drug and Administration: He wants the agency to cut off access to a pill that’s used in nearly 40% of U.S. abortions.
On Monday, the Texas Republican led a group of 20 senators in sending a letter to the commissioner of the FDA, asking the agency to take the pill mifepristone, which helps induce abortions, off the U.S. market. The senators want the pill declared an “imminent hazard to public health.”
By Jessie Hellmann
Abortion rights advocates are pinning their hopes on presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden to help end a longstanding ban on the use of federal funds for abortion — a policy he supported for more than 40 years.
Biden reversed his position by denouncing the so-called Hyde amendment last year, but its future doesn’t just depend on who wins the White House. Democrats will also need to make major gains in the Senate, keep control of the House and gain the support of more moderate Democratic lawmakers on a divisive issue.
By Robert Barnes
August 13, 2020
The Supreme Court’s rulings from a momentous just-completed term already are altering the nation’s legal landscape, almost ensuring that issues such as abortion and transgender rights will be returning to the high court.
In the past week, lower courts have resurrected controversial abortion restrictions in Arkansas, stopped a Vermont program that disfavored students at religious high schools and ordered a Florida school district to change its policy banning transgender students from the restrooms of their choice.
BY MICHAEL KUNZELMAN, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Posted Jul 30, 2020
SILVER SPRING, Md. — The Trump administration has asked a federal appeals court
to reinstate a rule that has required women to visit a hospital, clinic or
medical office to obtain an abortion pill during the COVID-19 pandemic.
A federal judge in Maryland agreed earlier this month to temporarily block
enforcement of the rule. Justice Department attorneys asked U.S. District Judge
Theodore Chuang to suspend his July 13 order while they appeal, but the judge
refused on Thursday.