by ISABELLA DALLY-STEELE
Mallory McPherson-Wehan remembers sitting on her friend’s living room floor, scouring the internet for abortion clinics. Her friend, a senior in high school at the time, had found out earlier that day that she was pregnant and made the decision to abort; the only question that remained was where she would go to do so.
“We had no option other than Google,” McPherson-Wehan, who is a volunteer at the DC Abortion Fund told Ms. So Google, they did.
The Trump administration could force abortion patients to have unnecessary surgeries.
By Ian Millhiser
Sep 9, 2020
Last June, Chief Justice John Roberts provided a brief reprieve to abortion providers — joining his liberal colleagues in striking down a Louisiana anti-abortion law. But that reprieve could be very short-lived: A case now before the justices could give them a vehicle to undercut the right to terminate a pregnancy. If the Trump administration gets its way in
Food and Drug Administration v. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the Supreme Court could force many patients seeking abortions to undergo unnecessary surgeries, despite the fact that those patients could safely terminate their pregnancy with medication — and that’s assuming that these individuals are able to find a doctor to perform the surgery in the first place.
Aug 31, 2020, USA TODAY
WASHINGTON – The Supreme Court's decision in June striking down a Louisiana restriction on abortion clinics is giving abortion opponents an unlikely opportunity in other states.
Officials in Texas, Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky and Oklahoma have in recent weeks argued that the high court's 5-4 ruling actually bolsters their defense of anti-abortion laws, even though the justices ruled against Louisiana.
By Nora Ellmann
August 27, 2020
So far in 2020, there have been a number of important wins for abortion rights in the courts. In the U.S. Supreme Court, Louisiana’s unconstitutional admitting privileges law was struck down in June Medical Services v. Russo.1 In the lower courts, a federal district court in Maryland ruled that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration must suspend enforcement of a medically unnecessary restriction on access to medication abortion until 30 days after the end of the COVID-19 public health emergency.2 Also in Maryland, a district court vacated and enjoined a Trump administration rule that would have required separate insurance payments for abortion care and all other health care for people insured by certain plans under the Affordable Care Act.3 And a district court in Georgia struck down the state’s six-week abortion ban, which would have banned abortion at a point before most people even know they are pregnant.4
If almost no restrictions count as an “undue burden,” there’s not much to overrule.
By Mary Ziegler
August 17, 2020
Since President Trump nominated Brett M. Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, everyone has placed bets about how long it would be before Roe v. Wade was overturned. What everyone forgot is that the Supreme Court can functionally eliminate access to abortion without saying a word about Roe itself.
This week’s abortion decision out of Arkansas should certainly refresh everyone’s memories. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit, which just handed down a decision in Hopkins v. Jegley, had the first crack at interpreting the Supreme Court’s recent decision in June Medical Services v. Russo. In that earlier case, the high court struck down a Louisiana law requiring abortion doctors to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital. At the time, progressives celebrated what seemed to be a big victory for abortion rights. Legal commentator Jeffrey Toobin proclaimed that Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., in joining his more liberal colleagues, had turned over a new leaf.
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.
Alice Clapman, Planned Parenthood Federation of America
Aug. 10, 2020
The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in June Medical Services struck down a Louisiana law requiring doctors to have privileges at a local hospital in order to perform abortions. Alice Clapman, litigator for Planned Parenthood Federation of America, says it’s time to recognize that many state abortion restrictions billed as “common sense health and safety regulations” are nothing more than tactics to hinder care, especially for rural communities and people of color who face systemic barriers to health care.
On June 29, in June Medical Services v. Russo (JMS), the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a Louisiana law that would have left the state with only one abortion provider. From the moment the court’s fractured decision came down, commentators began speculating and debating whether it signals a shift. Had the court moved from the balancing test applied in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt to a more deferential test, one that would focus solely on the degree of burden imposed by a challenged restriction, without inquiring into whether that restriction serves any valid state interest?
As activists move closer to their goal of making abortion illegal, they have started planning for the infrastructure needed for a world with more babies—and recruiting major CEOs to bankroll their cause.
Emma Green, The Atlantic
Aug 7, 2020
In most circles, abortion does not make for polite dinner-table conversation, especially if you happen to be running a billion-dollar global franchise. So for years, Cheryl Bachelder kept quiet. She stood out professionally as the rare female CEO of a major corporation, overseeing Popeyes while chasing after three daughters and, eventually, four grandsons. As a Christian, she watched with distaste as her fellow business leaders indulged the decadence and money-fueled antics of the 1980s and ’90s, posing on magazine covers with jets and girls. She and her husband donated to candidates for political office whom they knew and personally trusted. But because she oversaw a large, publicly traded company, Bachelder mostly kept her views on one particularly controversial issue secret. “If I go to lunch with a good friend, and they find out I’m pro-life, I can tell you the look on their face,” she told me. “‘You’re kidding me. You are an educated, CEO woman and you’re pro-life. What’s wrong with you?’”
A federal appeals court will allow Arkansas to create degrading new hurdles for people seeking abortions.
By Dahlia Lithwick and Mark Joseph Stern
Aug 07, 2020
The Supreme Court’s recent decision in June Medical v. Russo was hailed by many liberal court watchers as a win for reproductive rights, as the court declined to overturn Roe v. Wade and formally eliminate the right to an abortion. On Friday, however, a federal appeals court ruled that June Medical significantly narrowed the constitutional right to abortion access. The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel swept away an injunction that had blocked Arkansas from enforcing a slew of abortion restrictions, including a requirement that patients pregnant as a result of rape notify their rapists before terminating their pregnancy. The appellate court’s decision confirms that Chief Justice John Roberts’ controlling opinion in June Medical will serve as a tool to eviscerate abortion rights. Those who briefly heralded him as a champion of reproductive freedom were too caught up in the halftime show to see the game.
A concurring opinion leaves the standard for determining the constitutionality of abortion restrictions in doubt.
Aug 4, 2020
At the end of June, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its decision in June Medical Services v. Russo. At issue was a Louisiana law, the Unsafe Abortion Protection Act. Like hundreds of similar state laws across the country, this law would have made abortion services difficult, if not impossible, to obtain in Louisiana.
A majority of the Court struck down the Louisiana law, but five justices did not agree on why the law was unconstitutional. Chief Justice John Roberts concurred only in judgment—and his concurrence may be the key to understanding what regulations the Court will or will not permit in the future.