Trump Allies Plan New Sweeping Abortion Restrictions

His supporters are seeking to attack abortion rights and abortion access from a variety of angles should he regain the White House, including using a long-dormant law from 1873.

By Lisa Lerer and Elizabeth Dias
Feb. 17, 2024

Allies of former President Donald J. Trump and officials who served in his administration are planning ways to restrict abortion rights if he returns to power that would go far beyond proposals for a national ban or the laws enacted in conservative states across the country.

Behind the scenes, specific anti-abortion plans being proposed by Mr. Trump’s allies are sweeping and legally sophisticated. Some of their proposals would rely on enforcing the Comstock Act, a long-dormant law from 1873, to criminalize the shipping of any materials used in an abortion — including abortion pills, which account for the majority of abortions in America.


The anti-abortion plan ready for Trump on Day One

The stakes of the election go far beyond whether a GOP president signs a bill banning the procedure.


Anti-abortion groups have not yet persuaded Donald Trump to commit to signing a national ban if he returns to the White House.

But, far from being deterred, those groups are designing a far-reaching anti-abortion agenda for the former president to implement as soon as he is in office. In emerging plans that involve everything from the EPA to the Federal Trade Commission to the Postal Service, nearly 100 anti-abortion and conservative groups are mapping out ways the next president can use the sprawling federal bureaucracy to curb abortion access.


USA – March for Life: Anti-abortion movement stalls as election year politics loom

19th January 2024
By Holly Honderich, BBC News, Washington

On Friday, activists assembled in Washington for the March for Life, the nation's largest annual anti-abortion rally.

The crowds were thinner than in past years, due in part to the cold temperatures and blowing snow that blanketed the capital overnight. But the campaigners in attendance this year also acknowledged the more concerning headwinds facing their movement, now in an election year: a general public broadly supportive of abortion rights, and a Republican party increasingly hesitant to join the fight.


USA – Anti-Abortion Groups Undeterred by Election Losses, Press On in Courts

Abortion opponents are seeking ways to work around voters and cancel out victories at the polls for reproductive rights.

By Rachana Pradhan , KFF HEALTHNEWS
November 23, 2023

Anti-abortion groups are firing off a warning shot for 2024: We’re not going anywhere.

Their leaders say they’re undeterred by recent election setbacks and plan to plow ahead on what they’ve done for years, including working through state legislatures, federal agencies, and federal courts to outlaw abortion. And at least one prominent anti-abortion group is calling on conservative states to make it harder for voters to enact ballot measures, a tactic Republican lawmakers attempted in Ohio before voters there enshrined the right to abortion in the state’s constitution.


How Many Abortions Did the Post-Roe Bans Prevent?

The first estimate of births since Dobbs found that almost a quarter of women who would have gotten abortions carried their pregnancies to term.

By Margot Sanger-Katz and Claire Cain Miller
Nov. 22, 2023

The first data on births since Roe v. Wade was overturned shows how much abortion bans have had their intended effect: Births increased in every state with a ban, an analysis of the data shows.

By comparing birth statistics in states before and after the bans passed, researchers estimated that the laws caused around 32,000 annual births, based on the first six months of 2023, a relatively small increase that was in line with overall expectations.


Post-Roe, anti-abortion groups target law protecting clinics from violence

The Face Act penalizes people for blockading and threatening abortion clinics. Anti-abortion activists want it repealed

Carter Sherman
Sat 16 Sep 2023

The inside of the abortion clinic was chaotic. Anti-abortion protesters lined the walls. A few had sat down on the clinic’s lime green chairs and draped themselves in chains. “Please inspire these parents to keep their babies!” one man shouted, before he started singing about the Virgin Mary. As some of the protesters sang and prayed loudly, the police officers crowded inside the clinic tried to urge them to move. They didn’t want to budge.

It was 22 October 2020, and one anti-abortion advocate was livestreaming a group of activists who were at the Washington DC-area clinic to, in their view, “rescue” people from having abortions. One redheaded young woman turned to the camera.


Anti-Abortion Groups Are Coming for Birth Control—Just as Reproductive Rights Activists Warned

Dark money anti-abortion and pay-to-play groups are predictably responding to the FDA’s over-the-counter birth control pill decision with disinformation.


In July, the FDA approved the first over-the-counter contraceptive pill, Opill (norgestrel). Opill is expected to be available for purchase online, in pharmacies, and convenience and grocery stores, without a prescription in early 2024.

With barriers to reproductive healthcare increasing—especially for Black, Latino and poor people—and more than 19 million women in the U.S. living in “contraceptive deserts” without easy access to reproductive health clinics, Opill will be a vital tool in the fight for reproductive justice.


USA – How a 150-Year-Old Law Against Lewdness Became a Key to the Abortion Fight

The Comstock Act, named for a public-morals crusader on a mission to “sanitize” the U.S. in the 1870s, makes a comeback in the abortion-pill battle.

By Emily Bazelon
May 16, 2023

Anthony Comstock, a 19th-century crusader against sexual liberty, was mocked as a prude in his own time, but wielded real power. He persuaded Congress in 1873 to pass the Comstock Act, written by and named for him, making it a federal crime to send or deliver “obscene, lewd or lascivious” material through the mail or by other carriers, specifically including items used for abortion or birth control.

By the 1960s, the Comstock Act had fallen out of use — narrowed by court rulings, partly gutted by congressional repeals — and it was made an unconstitutional relic by the Supreme Court’s decision in 1973 in Roe v. Wade, recognizing a national right to abortion. But it stayed on the books.


‘We need to read the room’: GOP divided on abortion as Democrats unite for 2024

Democrats center abortion rights in early stages of presidential campaign while Republicans waver over unpopular position

Lauren Gambino in Washington DC
Sun 30 Apr 2023

Hours after Joe Biden announced his re-election campaign on Tuesday, his vice-president and 2024 running mate, Kamala Harris, delivered a fiery call to action for voters alarmed by the loss of constitutional protections for abortion.

“This is a moment for us to stand and fight,” she said to a packed auditorium at Howard University, a historically Black college in Washington and her alma mater. To the “extremist so-called leaders” rolling back access to reproductive rights, Harris warned: “Don’t get in our way because if you do, we’re going to stand up, we’re going to organize and we’re going to speak up.”


USA – The new front in the right’s war on abortion

Abortion pills are at the heart of the fight over abortion access in a post-Roe world.

By Rachel M. Cohen
Jan 9, 2023

The Biden administration helped expand access to medication abortion last week, with the US Food and Drug Administration finalizing a rule to make the pills more readily available in pharmacies. But this effort to help patients get pills to end a pregnancy could be dwarfed by a major push to restrict access to the medication from anti-abortion leaders and their Republican allies.

As lawmakers head back to state legislatures this month, many for the first time since Roe v. Wade was overturned in June, Republicans face new pressure to restrict access to the combination of abortion-inducing drugs, mifepristone and misoprostol, used typically within the first 10 to 12 weeks of a pregnancy. Medication abortion has become the most common method for ending pregnancies in the United States, partly due to its safety record, its lower cost, diminished access to in-person care, and greater opportunities for privacy.