OCT. 27, 2020
By Madeleine Aggeler
With the appointment of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, the legal battle over reproductive rights in the United States is likely to intensify quickly. There are currently 17 abortion-related cases one step away from the Supreme Court. And now, with a 6-3 conservative majority on the Court, the future of Roe v. Wade — the 1973 case which ruled that abortion is a constitutional right — is more uncertain than ever.
Barrett, a devout Catholic and former mentee of the late conservative Justice Antonin Scalia, evaded questions about abortion during her confirmation hearing. But pro-choice groups like NARAL and Planned Parenthood have called her a “clear and present danger to Roe and reproductive freedom,” and “a particular insult to the legacy of Justice Ginsberg.” Indeed, Barrett was a member of an anti-abortion, “right to life” group in Indiana as recently as 2016, and in 2013, she gave two talks to anti-abortion student groups at the University of Notre Dame.
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 Quoctrung Bui, Claire Cain Miller and Margot Sanger-Katz
Ne York Times
Oct. 15, 2020
The almost-certain confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court has increased the chances that Roe v. Wade will be weakened or overturned. If that were to happen, abortion access would decline in large regions of the country, a new data analysis shows.
Legal abortion access would be unchanged in more than half of states, but it would effectively end for those living in much of the American South and Midwest, especially those who are poor, according to the analysis. (The analysis incorporates more recent data on research we wrote about last year.)
Carlie Porterfield, Forbes Staff
Oct 14, 2020
As the third day of Senate hearings on President Trump’s latest Supreme Court nominee, Amy Coney Barrett, had Republicans praising her reported pro-life personal beliefs Wednesday, dozens of elected prosecutors and attorneys general from across the nation issued a joint statement that they will not criminalize abortion even if Roe v. Wade were to be overturned.
In the letter, 64 prosecutors—which range from local prosecutors to state attorneys general—are clear that they will not prosecute people who elect to have an abortion or the doctors who carry out the procedure, “even if the protections of Roe v. Wade were to be eroded or overturned,” the letter reads.
October 9, 2020
By Deekshita Ramanarayanan
“Unintended pregnancy and abortion are reproductive health experiences shared by tens of millions of people around the world, irrespective of personal status or circumstance. What differs though are the obstacles,” said Dr. Zara Ahmed, Associate Director of Federal Issues at the Guttmacher Institute in this week’s Friday Podcast. Research from the Guttmacher Institute on sexual and reproductive health (SRH) found that in 2018, there were 121 million unintended pregnancies globally, and of those, 61 percent ended in abortion. About half of these abortions were in unsafe conditions and led to approximately 23,000 preventable pregnancy related deaths, said Ahmed.
“A major finding of our research is about the legal status of abortion,” said Ahmed. “This is important. Abortion rates are the same where abortion is broadly legal and where it’s restricted – exactly the same.” Guttmacher research shows that in settings where abortion is restricted, the proportion of unintended pregnancies that end in abortion increased nearly 40 percent over the last 30 years.
Edinah Masiyiwa, Feature
06 Oct 2020
IT is time we pass effective laws and policies that promote women’s choices when it comes to keeping or terminating a pregnancy especially now when it is so difficult for many women and girls to access Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) in the Covid-19 era. We also cannot afford to keep seeing policy agreements passed that are never fulfilled.
The truth is maternal mortality remains high across the Southern Africa Development Community (Sadc) region, despite political commitment to reduce it. Fourteen countries in Sadc out of 16 countries remain below the target of 70 deaths per 100 000 women. It appears leaders are quick to sign regional and international declarations and agreements such as the Sustainable Development Goals and the International Conference on Population in Development without putting in place country strategies for ensuring implementation.
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.
It is safe and efficient for early terminations to take place at home
Sep 19th 2020
For most women deciding how or when to give birth, covid-19 has been a nightmare. Fertility treatments have paused, sexual-health clinics closed and partners been banned from delivery rooms. Yet the pandemic has brought one silver lining. It has shown a better way to carry out early-stage abortions.
Abortion is legal in most of the world, and relatively straightforward in most rich countries. But obstacles remain. They include compulsory waiting times and mandatory counselling. Perhaps the most common obstacle is that the first step in medical abortions (which involve drugs rather than surgery) must take place in clinics. Yet temporary measures set up during the pandemic suggest this is often unnecessary. These temporary measures should now become permanent.
by MARTHA BURK
What’s at Stake is a new bi-weekly series of abbreviated excepts from Ms. money editor Martha Burk’s book “Your Voice, Your Vote 2020-2021.”
Abortion was legal in the United States from the time the earliest settlers arrived, until states began to criminalize it in the 1800s. By 1910 it was illegal in all but one state, unless in a doctor’s judgment needed to save the woman’s life.
Since very few abortions could be certified as necessary to save a woman’s life, women were forced into the back alleys. In the years before the Supreme Court legalized the procedure in 1973 with the Roe v. Wade ruling, estimates of illegal abortions ranged as high as 1.2 million per year—some resulting in death.
"Study after study—including from the State Department—has demonstrated that this neocolonialist policy has inflicted a crushing blow to healthcare access for people around the world."
by Julia Conley, staff writer, Common Dreams
Tuesday, September 15, 2020
Reproductive rights advocates on Tuesday warned that a newly proposed expansion of the anti-choice global gag rule will put millions at even greater risk of being unable to access healthcare including abortion care.
The U.S. State Department on Monday entered into the Federal Register a proposed policy change which would refuse global health aid through federal government contracts to foreign healthcare groups that provide abortion care or counseling.