Federal judge blocks Arkansas law banning nearly all abortions

Law, which was set to take effect on Friday, was approved by Republican-led legislature and signed by Asa Hutchinson

Maya Yang and agencies

Wed 21 Jul 2021

A federal judge on Tuesday blocked a law passed in Arkansas that would ban
nearly all abortions.

The law, which was set to take effect on Friday, had been approved by
Arkansas’s Republican-led legislature and signed by the state’s Republican
governor, Asa Hutchinson.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/jul/21/arkansas-abortion-ban-federal-judge-blocks

An Abortion Provider Discusses His Biggest Fears Over Texas’ Abortion ‘Bounty’ Law

Will other states follow Texas’ lead? Will clinics be able to withstand the potential onslaught of lawsuits? “We have no idea what this is going to look like,” says Dr. Bhavik Kumar.

JULY 16, 2021

Dr. Bhavik Kumar has been a Texas abortion provider for six years, with the last two at the Planned Parenthood Center for Choice in Houston, Texas. He started practicing shortly after House Bill 2 — the last Texas abortion law to go all the way to the Supreme Court before it was struck down as unconstitutional — went into effect. In the three years between the law’s passage and the Supreme Court’s decision, HB2 forced roughly half of Texas’ abortion providers to shut their doors.

A new bill, passed by the Texas State Legislature in May and signed into law by Gov. Greg Abbott in June, has the potential to be even more disruptive. Instead of outlawing abortion outright, the new law empowers private citizens to sue doctors like Kumar, nurses, members of his staff, as well as anyone else who “aids and abets” an abortion — family members who drive patients to the clinic, faith leaders who provide counseling, abortion funds — for $10,000 each. The ban applies to abortions that take place after heart activity can be detected in the embryo — six weeks gestation, or roughly two weeks after a woman’s missed period, when many women don’t even know they are pregnant yet.

continued: https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-news/sb-8-texas-abortion-law-10000-dollar-bounty-1194953/

USA – More Abortion Restrictions Have Been Enacted In The U.S. This Year Than In Any Other

July 9, 2021

More abortion restrictions have been enacted across the U.S. this year than in any previous year, according to an analysis by a group that supports abortion rights.

State legislatures have passed at least 90 laws restricting the procedure in 2021 so far, finds a report released this month from the Guttmacher Institute.

Continued: https://www.wvtf.org/post/new-record-states-have-enacted-90-abortion-restrictions-so-far-year#stream/0

UK – Disabilities activists are waging war on women’s freedom

Heidi Carter's attempt to change the Abortion Act threatens women's reproductive rights.

Ella Whelan, Spiked
7th July 2021

Heidi Carter is a 24-year-old woman with Down’s syndrome. She is currently taking the UK health secretary Sajid Javid to court in an effort to change the 1967 Abortion Act.

Carter and her team want to take away the option women currently have to abort a pregnancy after 24 weeks in cases of non-fatal disabilities. Her supporters are framing this as a battle for the rights of disabled people. This is misleading. It should be understood as an attempt to limit the choice and freedoms of 34million women.

Continued: https://www.spiked-online.com/2021/07/07/disabilities-activists-are-waging-war-on-womens-freedom/

State Policy Trends at Midyear 2021: Already the Worst Legislative Year Ever for U.S. Abortion Rights

Elizabeth Nash, Guttmacher Institute
Sophia Naide, Guttmacher Institute
First published online: July 1, 2021

In the first six months of the year, many state legislatures engaged in an assault on many civil rights, including abortion, voting and transgender rights. More abortion restrictions—90—have already been enacted in 2021 than in any year since the Roe v. Wade decision was handed down in 1973. Many of these actions took place in the beginning of the year, despite the need for state legislatures to address critical issues ranging from racial equity to the COVID-19 response and pandemic-related health care.

In addition to their relentless attacks on abortion, several state legislatures have focused on measures that target transgender youth by banning gender-affirming care or restricting their participation in sports. These laws are part of a new wave of restrictions that build on transphobic legislation from previous years, including “bathroom bills” that require individuals to use the bathroom that corresponds to their sex as assigned at birth and bills to ban puberty blockers, which give young people time to make a decision about transitioning.

Continued: https://www.guttmacher.org/article/2021/07/state-policy-trends-midyear-2021-already-worst-legislative-year-ever-us-abortion

Restrictive Laws Don’t Prevent Abortion

With new restrictions on abortion headed to the Supreme Court, many are wondering what it will mean for women if Roe v. Wade is overturned. We looked to other countries for answers.


Consider this: Every day around the world some 96,000 women risk their lives to an unsafe abortion, seeking to end an unintended pregnancy. Millions of women face complications following an unsafe abortion and at least 22,000 die every year. This latest push to overturn Roe v. Wade aims to deny women autonomous control over their own bodies and presages a return to the days before Roe, in the U.S. when the death rate due to illegal abortion among women of color was 12 times that of white women. 

MSI Reproductive Choices works in many
countries where abortion is heavily restricted and we are called on daily to
provide life-saving post-abortion care to women and girls who tried to end an
unwanted pregnancy themselves. Faith Pyentim, a midwife from Nigeria, described
one teenage girl who sought help after a desperate attempt to end an unintended
pregnancy. “There was a bad smell, so we knew there was infection. She was 17
then, unmarried with a child at home already.”

Continued: https://msmagazine.com/2021/06/27/abortion-restrictions-supreme-court-global-women-health-death/

USA – Will Shifts in Public Opinion Impact the Abortion Debate?

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.

Continued: https://msmagazine.com/2021/06/15/public-opinion-abortion-debate-supreme-court-midterm-elections-republican-democrats-partisan/

USA – The Sound of Silence on Abortion

June 3, 2021
By Linda Greenhouse

Back in 2014, when the Arizona Legislature passed a bill to provide business owners with a religious excuse to discriminate against gay people, the N.F.L. threatened to move Super Bowl XLIX out of the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale. Gov. Jan Brewer vetoed the bill.

In 2015, when the N.C.A.A. led a pushback from its Indianapolis headquarters against a similar bill that the Indiana Legislature passed, Gov. Mike Pence said it was all a “great misunderstanding” and eventually signed a watered-down version that met the demands of the N.C.A.A. and other sports organizations that had protested.

Continued: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/06/03/opinion/abortion-corporate-support.html

Texas’s New Abortion Law Endangers Women and Science

The reds flags are up. Is anyone paying attention?

By Dr Robert Turner
May 23, 2021

Texas is rapidly establishing itself as the anti-science, anti-trans, anti-women and anti-vaccine capital of America. A raft of new legislation has been passed by Gov Greg Abbott in the last few months. Abbott is the public face of a new conservative Texas that harkens back to the dark ages. In contrast to his earlier public Twitter statement that Texans should be responsible for their own health, not the government, Abbott was clearly referring to men, not, as he clearly perceives them, the lesser citizens of Texas.

One can now legitimately ask the question, “what’s next”. An assault on women’s right to the vote? Ridiculous you say, but wait. Until last week women had a semblance of control over their lives, their health, and their bodies. Greg Abbott has undone that in a move that’s left Texas with the most restrictive abortion laws in the US.

Continued: https://medika.life/texass-new-abortion-law-endangers-women-and-science/

Clarence Thomas awaits his chance to drive the conservative majority on abortion and guns

By Ariane de Vogue, CNN Supreme Court Reporter
Thu May 20, 2021

(CNN)Twenty-nine years ago, less than a year after he had taken the bench, Justice Clarence Thomas joined a dissent calling the landmark opinion Roe v. Wade "plainly wrong" and an "erroneous constitutional decision." Over the years Thomas would say Roe had "no basis in the Constitution" and call out the court's abortion precedents as "grievously wrong."

He also took aim at challenges to the Second Amendment, accusing lower courts and his own colleagues of thumbing their noses at the right to bear arms, calling it a "disfavored right."

Continued: https://www.cnn.com/2021/05/20/politics/clarence-thomas-abortion-guns/index.html