Ireland and Poland went in entirely opposite directions on abortion. Why?
By Amanda Taub
Sept. 21, 2022
For the past several years, as I have struggled to put the escalating tumult of global abortion politics into some sort of order inside my own mind, I have returned over and over to two events.
They happened in different countries, in different years. They produced opposite outcomes. And yet I could not shake the feeling that looking at them together might help me understand something important about the way the world works.
Even where the words remain the same, a shifting political culture has changed the impact of suddenly revived statutes.
By Daniel K. Williams
SEPTEMBER 20, 2022
Abortion opponents seem not to have expected some of the more draconian consequences of the Dobbs decision—that anti-abortion laws would prevent pregnant women who were not seeking abortions from receiving needed treatment for miscarriages, or that women facing dire medical complications from their pregnancies would not be able to get proper care. After all, the anti-abortion laws that were in force in the pre-Roe era before 1973 were almost never used to prosecute doctors treating miscarriages or providing lifesaving care to women, and all of the anti-abortion laws that went into effect this summer (including the one enacted in Indiana in August) specifically allow abortions in cases where they are necessary to save a pregnant person’s life. A National Review article published in late July insisted that no current state anti-abortion law prevents the treatment of miscarriages or ectopic pregnancies.
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.
Instead of claiming victory in Dobbs, they’re insisting on fighting for fetal personhood.
BY DAHLIA LITHWICK
AUG 22, 2022
Call it what you will, but there is no enduring benefit to having a media and political ecosystem that is primarily made of impenetrable “bubbles” of reality, distinct worlds in which “epistemic closure” means never having to encounter a single idea that challenges your preexisting beliefs. And yet, we are about to see it tested in an ominous natural experiment. Abortion is a subject in which certain aspirations about what reality might be are pitted directly against what is actually happening on the ground. Forced-birth proponents—who won huge at the Supreme Court when Dobbs v. Jackson came down in June—are perennially being described in terms of the “dog who caught the car.” The November midterms will tell us whether their reality is ascendant in America, or just their judicial and state legislative power.
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.
by Mary Ziegler and Elizabeth Sepper
Fri August 5, 2022
A woman turned away with an ectopic pregnancy. A miscarrying mother sent home, where she develops an infection. People with severe pregnancy complications left untreated. Within a month of the Supreme Court's decision overturning Roe v. Wade, abortion bans have thrown emergency care into disarray and put doctors in an impossible bind.
Federal law requires physicians to treat pregnant patients in emergencies, providing abortions when necessary, while the law in some states prohibits emergency abortions. A showdown between the federal government and the states is now brewing. The state of Texas is suing the Biden administration to block federal guidance that protects access to emergency abortion care, even in states where abortion is a crime. And on Tuesday, the administration went on the offensive, suing Idaho over its abortion restrictions.
They might be in murky legal water.
Updated Jul. 24, 2022
When states cracked down on gambling in the 20th century, Americans took their money offshore to casino boats in the Mississippi River and along the Pacific Coast. They reasoned that once a vessel was more than 12 nautical miles offshore, it would be outside of U.S. territorial waters—and therefore wouldn’t have to abide by gambling restrictions.
Inspired by these boats, one doctor is betting on these same legal loopholes to set up a floating health clinic in the Gulf of Mexico and offer comprehensive reproductive care, including surgical abortions. It’s not a completely new idea, and it’s not uncontroversial, either: Some wonder whether the idea is more of a performative gimmick than a feasible solution to reproductive care, and there are a slew of legal issues to take into account, too. But all agree that it is the kind of workaround that will proliferate in a post-Roe America.
BY MARK JOSEPH STERN
JULY 19, 2022
The Supreme Court’s June 24 decision overruling Roe v. Wade unleashed an immediate and relentless flood of cruelty against pregnant Americans. Child victims of rape and incest, including a 10-year-old girl in Ohio, must cross state lines to obtain abortions. Patients undergoing a miscarriage are compelled to bleed out for days and risk sepsis before doctors are willing to terminate their pregnancies. Those with ectopic pregnancies, which are lethal and non-viable, are denied treatment due to the presence of a fetal “heartbeat.” Women suspected of being pregnant are denied vital treatment for autoimmune disorders because they happen to induce abortion, too.
In a preview of what’s to come in half the country, a near-total ban has led some providers to deny care until mothers’ health deteriorated
Wed 13 Jul 2022
Facing a rupture of membranes before fetal viability – a condition in which water breaks too early – a pregnant patient in Texas desperately needed an abortion. She risked infection, sepsis, excessive bleeding and even death.
But her healthcare provider’s hands were tied by Senate Bill 8, a near-total ban in effect since September 2021, preventing her from accessing that potentially life-saving care in her home state. Despite the risk associated with air travel, she boarded a plane to obtain the procedure out of state. Her obstetrician cautioned that she could go into labor in-flight and give birth to a stillborn 19-week fetus. “If you labor on the plane, leave the placenta inside of you,” the doctor warned.
July 8, 2022
For two decades, abortion rights opponents have drafted so-called model legislation and lobbied to get the measures to restrict and ban abortions passed in statehouses across the country in preparation for the eventual fall of Roe v. Wade.
The model legislation and concerted political pressure from national organizations that oppose abortion rights resulted in key terms being cemented into laws, the limitation of abortion access and the influence behind the trigger laws that will go into effect in 13 states this summer as a result of the Supreme Court's recent decision to overturn Roe.