State abortion bans carry narrow but sometimes vague exceptions, and years of prison time. That’s forcing doctors to think like lawyers, and hospitals to create new protocols.
By Kate Zernike
Sept. 10, 2022
In Wisconsin, a group of doctors and lawyers is trying to come up with guidelines on how to comply with a newly revived 173-year-old law that prohibits abortion except to save the life of a pregnant woman. They face the daunting task of defining all the emergencies and conditions that might result in a pregnant woman’s death, and the fact that doctors could be punished with six years in prison if a prosecutor disagrees that abortion was necessary.
A similar task force at an Arizona hospital recommends having a lawyer on call to help doctors determine whether a woman’s condition threatens her life enough to justify an abortion. Already, the hospital has added questions to its electronic medical forms so they can be used to argue that patients who had abortions would have died without them.
Letters warning of felony charges for firms who offer funds could set up a showdown over constitutional rights
Sun 24 Jul 2022
Republican lawmakers have sent legal threats to Texas organizations that offer to fund out-of-state travel for abortions, potentially setting up a showdown between abortion law and long-held constitutional rights such as freedom of association and freedom of travel.
The Texas Freedom Caucus, a conservative faction of Republicans in the state legislature, sent a letter on 7 July to a law firm that offered to cover employees’ expenses if they travelled for abortion. It threatened Sidley LLP with felony charges, claiming Texas can criminalize anyone who “furnishes the means” for an abortion, regardless of where the abortion occurs. The letter cites a 1925 law which was not formally repealed after the supreme court codified the right to abortion in Roe v Wade in 1973; last week, the Texas supreme court confirmed the 1925 law can be applied.
Court battles, new laws, and confusion over abortion policy have left politicians, providers, and patients in a state of flux.
By Ellen Ioanes
Jul 3, 2022
The last few days have seen a flurry of activity amid states reckoning with the Supreme Court decision negating the constitutional right to abortion.
Courtroom battles over abortion access have been ramping up: judges recently postponed the implementation of abortion bans in some states, and allowed others to go into effect. Meanwhile, red state leaders have pushed new restrictions, as some blue states enacted fresh protections for abortion providers. And the Court’s decision overturning Roe v. Wade, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, is already having dire effects, causing clinic closures and forcing people to travel to obtain abortions.
The Supreme Court this month declined to block enforcement of the Texas law but allowed abortion providers in the state to proceed with their legal challenge.
Dec. 27, 2021
By Dartunorro Clark
A federal appeals court said Monday it will hear oral arguments Jan. 7 in a high-profile case centered on the country's most restrictive abortion law.
The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, based in Louisiana, scheduled the hearing after the Supreme Court this month declined to block enforcement of the Texas law known as S.B. 8 while allowing abortion providers in the state to proceed with their legal challenge.
By Robert Barnes and Ann E. Marimow
Dec 16, 2021
The Supreme Court returned the lawsuit over Texas’s restrictive abortion law to a federal appeals court Thursday, rejecting a request by abortion providers to send the case to a district judge who had previously declared the law unconstitutional.
The order came from Justice Neil M. Gorsuch, who last week wrote the majority opinion that left in place the law, which bans most abortions after six weeks. The decision granted a narrow path for providers to challenge the law’s unique enforcement structure.
by Robert Barnes
Oct 22, 2021
The Supreme Court on Friday said it will consider legal arguments over the Texas abortion law that is the nation’s most restrictive on Nov. 1, and that the law will remain in effect.
The court granted an expedited review of what is called S. B. 8, which the Biden administration in a filing Friday said “has virtually eliminated abortion in Texas after six weeks of pregnancy.”
By Andrew Chung
Oct 21 (Reuters)
Texas on Thursday asked the U.S. Supreme Court to keep in place a law that imposes a near-total ban on abortion and urged the justices that if they quickly take up a legal challenge brought by President Joe Biden's administration they should overturn the landmark ruling that legalized the procedure nationwide.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton in a legal filing
responded to the U.S. Justice Department's request that the Supreme Court
quickly block the Republican-backed state law while litigation over its
legality goes forward.
By Ariane de Vogue, CNN Supreme Court Reporter
Mon October 18, 2021
(CNN)The Justice Department formally asked the Supreme Court Monday to step in and block a controversial Texas law that bars most abortions after six weeks of pregnancy while legal challenges play out.
The law is "clearly unconstitutional" and allowing it to remain in effect would "perpetuate the ongoing irreparable injury to thousands of Texas women who are being denied their constitutional rights," the Justice Department argues.
By Ann E. Marimow
Oct 15, 2021
The nation’s most restrictive abortion law remains in place for now, after a federal appeals court on Thursday sided with the state of Texas.
In a 2-to-1 order, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit refused the Justice Department’s request to reinstate an earlier court ruling that temporarily lifted the ban, which bars abortion as early as six weeks into pregnancy and makes no exceptions for rape or incest.
By Ann E. Marimow
Oct 12, 2021
Clinics in Colorado, New Mexico and Kansas are seeing an influx of patients from Texas fleeing the nation’s most restrictive abortion law, which bars the procedure as early as six weeks into pregnancy and remains in effect despite multiple court challenges and an acknowledgment by the Supreme Court that there are “serious questions” about its constitutionality.
Texans now account for the majority of patients at one Oklahoma clinic, where staff are working long hours to handle the out-of-state demand. Other patients, including teenagers and undocumented immigrants, say financial and child-care constraints limit their ability to leave Texas to terminate their pregnancies.