Discreet and available by mail, abortion-inducing pills could make conservative abortion bans challenging to enforce.
By Brian Osgood
1 Jul 2022
The US Supreme Court struck down Roe v Wade, the landmark 1973 decision that enshrined the legal right to abortion in the United States in federal law, reversing nearly 50 years of precedent and inflaming a sharp ideological divide.
The ruling last week was the result of decades of relentless organising by conservative anti-abortion rights groups in the US, which are now setting their sights on the fight to shape the post-Roe landscape.
By Maggie Koerth and Amelia Thomson-DeVeaux
JUN. 30, 2022
Layla Houshmand was eight weeks pregnant in the spring of 2021 when she woke up to find her field of vision smeared with a hazy sheen, like Vaseline rubbed on the lens of a camera. She was already worried about her own health. She’d spent the day before nursing herself through the pain of a migraine. But now the headache was worse and her vision was blurring and Houshmand was even more scared. Then the vomiting began. Nothing would stay down. During one 90-minute appointment with an ophthalmologist, she remembered vomiting 20 times.
Something was clearly going horribly wrong with Houshmand’s body. Her ophthalmologist suspected a stroke in her optic nerve and told her the condition can be caused by pregnancy, but Houshmand was stuck in a Catch-22: The pregnancy was now also preventing treatment. Doctors told her that she needed steroids and blood thinners and a specific type of MRI that could make sure there wasn’t something even more serious happening. But she couldn’t get any of those things because they could endanger her fetus.
Legalized abortion in some form is widely supported, but gerrymandered districts allow politicians to push extreme measures through
Sam Levine in New York
Wed 8 Jun 2022
On 10 April 2019, the Ohio legislature easily passed SB 23, a bill that banned abortion after a fetal heartbeat is detected, as early as six weeks into a pregnancy.
It was a move that should have carried considerable political risk in Ohio, a state closely divided between Democrats and Republicans. There wasn’t widespread support for the bill – polling showed public opinion was nearly evenly split over the bill (a poll after the bill was passed showed a majority opposed it), John Kasich, a previous Republican governor, had twice vetoed the bill, saying it was unconstitutional, and it had stalled in the legislature for years.
Barbara Ortutay, The Associated Press
June 1, 2022
An 18-year-old was undergoing treatment for an eating disorder when she learned she was pregnant, already in the second trimester. A mom of two found out at 20 weeks that her much-wanted baby had no kidneys or bladder. A young woman was raped and couldn't fathom continuing a pregnancy.
Abortions later in pregnancy are relatively rare, even more so now with the availability of medications to terminate early pregnancies.
April 29, 2022
(4 minute podcast with transcript)
NPR's Steve Inskeep talks to legal historian Mary Ziegler about red state abortion restrictions ahead of an upcoming Supreme Court ruling that could erode the landmark Roe v. Wade decision.
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
The state of Oklahoma is banning abortion again and again and again. Two separate bills have made it through the state legislature this week. Both allow lawsuits against people involved in abortions in the style of a recent Texas law. Weeks ago, Republican Governor Kevin Stitt signed a different bill that makes abortion a felony. Oklahoma is not waiting for a Supreme Court ruling on abortion that's expected later this year. So how much do these and other bills around the country matter?
Gov. Kevin Stitt has indicated that he plans to sign both bills, which would end abortion services at clinics in the state and add to a growing abortion desert.
Shefali Luthra, Health Reporter
April 28, 2022
Oklahoma’s legislature has passed two Texas-inspired laws that would allow civil lawsuits against anyone who might “aid or abet” any abortion. Gov. Kevin Stitt, a Republican, has indicated he plans to sign both bills, which would take effect immediately.
One bill, House Bill 4327, would outlaw virtually all abortions, with an exception if the pregnant person’s life were in immediate danger; pregnancy resulting from rape or incest is only an exception if it has been reported to law enforcement. After amendments were added to it, HB 4327 will go back to the House, which has already passed a version of the bill. The other bill, Senate Bill 1503, would create penalties for abortions done after six weeks of pregnancy.
Anti-abortion laws have traditionally allowed an exception to protect the “life of the mother.” Not anymore.
Opinion by MICHELE DEMARCO
In 1942, my grandmother lay in a hospital bed in center city Philadelphia waiting to die. She was 26 years old, happily married, and pregnant with her first child. Only something went horribly wrong in the last trimester, and suddenly, both she and the baby were in a fight for life.
My grandfather, distraught but resolved, begged the attending physicians to do whatever it took to save my grandmother’s life, even if that meant the life inside her wouldn’t survive. But in those days that wasn’t always the practice; this was also a Catholic hospital, which forbade such a practice because it was considered tantamount to abortion. My grandfather was told she would be kept comfortable, and they would monitor both mother and baby, but that nothing would be done to privilege her life over that of their unborn child. In the end, my grandmother pulled through — barely — but sadly, the baby did not.
by CARRIE N. BAKER, Ms. Magazine
While newspaper and Twitter headlines focus on draconian new abortion restrictions passing in state after state, the anti-abortion movement is diligently working behind the scenes to expand and strengthen its nationwide network of fake abortion clinics designed to deceive and coerce pregnant people away from abortion care. A new report by the research and accountability organization Equity Forward identifies and examines the primary methods anti-abortion centers (AACs) are using to expand their influence in the United States.
“The anti-abortion center network has developed, deployed and replicated an aggressive scheme of sinister tactics targeting people looking for abortion care and instead drive them to their centers,” said Equity Forward director Molly Bangs.
The legislation crafted by powerful political leaders looking to join a similar conservative push in the U.S. mainland seeks to ban abortions starting at 22 weeks.
April 27, 2022
By Associated Press
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — Puerto Rico on Tuesday held its first public hearing on a bill that aims to restrict abortions in the U.S. territory as powerful political leaders who support the measure seek to join a similar conservative push in the U.S. mainland.
If approved, the bill would ban abortions starting at 22 weeks or when a doctor determines that a fetus is viable. The only exception would be if a woman’s life is in danger. Most U.S. states already have similar laws, unlike Puerto Rico, where abortions with no term limit are currently allowed.
Why is the U.S. failing to lead the way in securing and protecting abortion rights?
by Kristyn Brandi, MD, MPH
April 24, 2022
In the last few years, a wave of court rulings and laws decriminalizing abortion have swept across Latin America, on the backs of pro-abortion activists like those in Argentina's Green Wave who "did the unthinkable" by delivering unprecedented victories for reproductive rights in the region.
In December 2020 Argentina's legislature made abortion legal up to 14-weeks in pregnancy; last September, Mexico's Supreme Court decriminalized abortion, paving the way for legalization; and just this past month, Colombia decriminalized abortion during the first 24 weeks of pregnancy. The World Health Organization (WHO) just released new abortion care guidelines that affirm a wide range of options for safely managing abortions. And for the first time, WHO recommended health officials and other policymakers recognize that people can safely self-manage all or parts of their abortion with abortion pills or through the use of telehealth services.