Opinion by Mary Ziegler
Fri January 27, 2023
Since the Supreme Court reversed Roe v. Wade in June, promising strategies have emerged to protect abortion rights in individual states. Some have begun to pass ballot initiatives to preserve or create state constitutional protection. Others have looked to legislatures to shield doctors and those who help people seeking abortion from potential consequences in conservative states.
These wins are hardly a silver bullet: not all states allow ballot initiatives and there are any number of states where majorities of voters seem to support abortion rights but are governed by legislators who want to ban the procedure—a result of deep partisan divides, gerrymandering and limits on access to the vote.
Maurizio Gasparri has higher chance of success this time after rightwing coalition’s election victory
Angela Giuffrida in Rome
Wed 19 Oct 2022
An Italian senator has submitted a proposal for an amendment to Italy’s civil code that would recognise a foetus as a human being, which if passed into law could enable pregnancy terminations to be classified as murder.
Maurizio Gasparri, a politician with Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia, which is part of the government led by Giorgia Meloni’s Brothers of Italy – a party with neofascist origins – expected to be sworn in next week, unleashed a barrage of criticism from members of the opposition when he presented his “rights of the unborn child” proposal to the senate.
Republicans have made it very clear that they aren’t going to stop at abortion: they’re coming for birth control and fertility treatments
Sat 24 Sep 2022
Going through fertility treatment isn’t fun at the best of times: it’s expensive, invasive and emotionally exhausting. Ever since Roe v Wade was overturned earlier this year, however, getting fertility treatments in the US has become exponentially more stressful; the end of Roe triggered a spate of new personhood bills in Republican states which define a fertilized egg or embryo as a legal human entity. If you know anything about in vitro fertilization (IVF), which I’m not sure any of the men drafting these personhood bills do, you’ll immediately know that makes IVF hugely complex. Numerous embryos are usually created during the IVF process as not all will be genetically viable. Unviable embryos, along with embryos that aren’t donated or frozen for later use, will be disposed. If these collections of cells are considered people then, according to the personhood laws, you’ve committed a crime by disposing of them.
So much for "just sending abortion back to the states"--they wanna keep going!
By Caitlin Cruz
Sept 7, 2022
It’s been two-and-a-half months since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade—sending the issue of abortion back to the states, as Republicans claimed was their end goal—and the anti-abortion activists are, of course, now trying to push it further. Catholics for Life, along with two pregnant people on behalf of their fetuses, formally asked the Supreme Court on Tuesday to consider the legality of fetal personhood.
The filing comes out of a Rhode Island Supreme Court case in which the state’s highest court held that fetuses are not people and therefore are not entitled to constitutional protections. (The law originally being challenged was the state’s Reproductive Privacy Act, which codified Roe v. Wade into state law.) Because fetuses are not people, the Rhode Island Supreme Court said the original lawsuit lacked standing to be filed. In short: A fetus (known in the filing as Baby Roe) cannot file a lawsuit because it doesn’t have any rights. I’d make the obvious chicken-egg joke if I didn’t have to be so fucking serious about this shit all the time.
Aug. 31, 2022
By Mary Ziegler
Two months after the fall of Roe v. Wade, abortion has been banned or severely restricted in at least 14 states, energizing leaders of the anti-abortion movement but also activating voters who are opposed to many of these measures. With so much at stake in the next few election cycles — and women’s lives hanging in the balance — both sides of this fight are strategizing their next moves.
For the anti-abortion movement, the emerging plan is an all-out fight for fetal personhood. In many ways this is no surprise — since the 1960s, the movement’s ultimate goal has been to secure legal protections for fetuses and embryos, despite the harm that could be done to the health and livelihoods of pregnant women. The recognition of fetal personhood nationwide could mean a total ban on abortion for everyone in the United States, and if an increasingly sophisticated minority of anti-abortion extremists have their way, many more women would face criminal charges for ending their pregnancies.
Fetal personhood, which confers legal rights from conception, is an effort to push beyond abortion bans and classify the procedure as murder. In Georgia, it also means a $3,000 tax credit.
By Kate Zernike
Aug. 21, 2022
Even as roughly half the states have moved to enact near-total bans on abortion since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June, anti-abortion activists are pushing for a long-held and more absolute goal: laws that grant fetuses the same legal rights and protections as any person.
So-called fetal personhood laws would make abortion murder, ruling out all or most of the exceptions for abortion allowed in states that already ban it. So long as Roe established a constitutional right to abortion, such laws remained symbolic in the few states that managed to pass them. Now they are starting to have practical effect. Already in Georgia, a fetus now qualifies for tax credits and child support, and is to be included in population counts and redistricting.
The pro-life movement is now focused on three major strategies at the state level.
By David S. Cohen, Greer Donley, and Rachel Rebouché - The Atlantic
JULY 11, 2022
The Dobbs decision will forever change many people’s lives. But it also sparked a legal revolution that is just beginning. State by state, the movement that fought to overturn Roe v. Wade is now fighting for even more extreme measures.
This means that the harshest restrictions on abortion are yet to come. As the anti-abortion movement works toward its goal of a nationwide abortion ban, we can expect it to pursue three major legal strategies now that Roe has been overruled.
Would Republicans really pursue a national abortion ban? Many advocates for abortion rights believe so.
July 4, 2022
By Zeeshan Aleem, MSNBC Opinion Columnist
The Supreme Court’s elimination of the constitutional right to an abortion in America marked the shocking fulfillment of a decadeslong lobbying effort by the American anti-abortion movement and the GOP agenda to radicalize the court to the point where it would overturn what appeared to be settled legal rights. But just hours after the decision came out, top Republicans already had their eye on something else.
Until very recently, the possibility that millions of women around the country would lose their abortion rights seemed remote. Now we’re looking at the nontrivial possibility that Republicans attempt legislation stripping them from the whole country.
Abortion “abolitionists” are the outer edge of the anti-abortion movement. They’re looking to gain followers after the decision to overturn Roe, unsettling mainstream anti-abortion groups.
By Elizabeth Dias
July 1, 2022
Hours after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade last week, a man with a wiry, squared-off beard and a metal cross around his neck celebrated with his team at a Brazilian steakhouse. He pulled out his phone to livestream to his followers.
“We have delivered a huge blow to the enemy and to this industry,” the man, Jeff Durbin, said. But, he explained, “our work has just really begun.”
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.