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
This Southern State Just Repealed Decades of Abortion Restrictions
Virginia Governor Ralph Northam is expected to sign a bill overturning several anti-abortion laws. That's good news for people across the South.
by Amelia Harnish
Feb 28 2020
When Rachel Scruggs, 25, found out she was pregnant last fall, she knew immediately she would need an abortion. Just weeks prior, she had extricated herself from an emotionally abusive relationship, and she already had a 5-year-old son to look after. Scruggs, who works as a waitress in Manassas, Virginia, took the day off and found a ride to the nearest abortion provider in Falls Church.
At her appointment, Scruggs learned she was seven weeks along, meaning she could have a medication abortion using the drug Mifeprex. Although major medical groups agree that medication abortion can be safely prescribed by midlevel providers like nurse practitioners and physicians’ assistants and administered at home, Virginia law requires that a physician prescribe it and and FDA rules mandate that it be administered in the office.
The Real Challenges of Exercising the Right to an Abortion—and What You Can Do About It
by Carole Joffe and David S. Cohen
For almost half a century, every American woman has had the constitutional right to an abortion.
But—as U.C. San Francisco sociologist Carole Joffe and Drexel law professor David S. Cohen show in their new book, Obstacle Course: The Everyday Struggle to Get an Abortion in America—the reality of exercising one’s reproductive rights is riddled with hurdles designed by anti-abortion activists and politicians.
There’s a New Playbook for Securing Abortion Access
Recent wins suggest that we are more effective when we proudly proclaim our support for abortion access for all—and defend that position when the attacks come.
By Andrea Miller
Jan 22, 2020
Since Roe v. Wade legalized abortion nationwide 47 years ago today, anti-choice lawmakers have passed more than 1,200 legal restrictions on abortion at the state level, each more manipulative and deceptive than the last. Anti-abortion extremists have been hailed as master strategists for their focus on seating anti-abortion ideologues in state legislatures across the country. From 2010 to 2017, Republican control of state legislatures grew from 14 states to 32; during those years alone, anti-choice lawmakers passed more than 400 restrictions on abortion. Anti-abortion hysteria reached a fever pitch in 2019, as states across the South and Midwest passed abortion bans, including six-week bans in Georgia and Ohio and a total ban on abortion in Alabama and the far right—from Donald Trump down to state legislators—adopted a strategy of lies to buoy their extreme agenda.
Gestational Age Bans: Harmful at Any Stage of Pregnancy
Megan K. Donovan, Guttmacher Institute
First published online: January 9, 2020
Efforts to ban abortion by gestational age surged in 2019, helping to expose antiabortion lawmakers’ true agenda to eliminate abortion rights entirely.
Using gestational age as a legal cutoff for abortion care is harmful at any point in pregnancy.
States such as Oregon and Vermont are leading the way in enacting laws that prohibit government interference in abortion care throughout pregnancy.
The Supreme Court Might Overturn Roe v. Wade—But Justices Won't Have the Final Say on Abortion Laws, Expert Says
By Chantal Da Silva
With more than 200 members of Congress calling on the Supreme Court to consider overturning Roe v. Wade, abortion rights groups across the country are bracing for the possibility that 2020 could be the year the ruling that established the right to abortion in the U.S. is rescinded.
Last week, dozens of Republican lawmakers, joined by two Democratic representatives, signed an amicus brief asking the Supreme Court to consider overturning the 1973 decision, which has protected the right to abortion in the U.S. in the decades since.
2019 Was a Banner Year for Abortion Laws—and Not the Kind You Think
Anti-abortion legislation got the headlines, but there was an even bigger surge in state-level abortion protections.
December 22, 2019
This year will be remembered for an unprecedented red-state assault on reproductive rights. From a wave of early-term abortion bans in the South and Midwest to a host of policies aimed at preventing providers from having open conversations with patients about abortion, conservative state legislators have done everything in their power to limit the right to abortion. But out of the headlines, 2019 was actually a banner year for abortion protections, as progressives in blue states started to fight back and win major legislative battles to protect the rights enshrined in Roe v. Wade. In 2019, more legislation was passed by Democratic statehouses to protect the right to abortion than in the entire previous decade.
Abortion. Transgender rights. Voting access. Polarizing issues could dominate statehouse agendas in 2020.
By Tim Craig and Emily Wax-Thibodeaux
Dec. 22, 2019
Republican-controlled state legislatures are gearing up to try to tighten abortion laws across the country, while some states controlled by Democrats are looking to enshrine the right to choose into law.
It’s one of a handful of deeply polarizing issues that could dominate state legislatures in 2020, a potential sign of the partisan gridlock that’s to come — and the efforts to rally supporters during a hyperpartisan presidential election year.
The Last Decade Was Disastrous For Abortion Rights. Advocates Are Trying To Figure Out What’s Next.
This year, the battle over abortion rights reached a fever pitch. That’s what this entire decade was building toward.
Ema O'Connor BuzzFeed News Reporter
Posted on December 17, 2019
As the decade draws to a close, the national right to abortion is in the most vulnerable place it’s been in decades.
Since 2010, hundreds of laws restricting abortion access have been enacted all over the country, making the procedure less attainable and forcing abortion clinics to close. The US has gone from having around 1,720 facilities that perform abortions in 2011 to 1,587 in 2017 (the last year reproductive rights group Guttmacher Institute surveyed). As of this year, there are six states with only one abortion clinic left. Twenty-five abortion bans were signed into law in 2019 alone, leading to nationwide protests. Though all, so far, have been blocked by the courts, a major fight over abortion rights at the Supreme Court is yet to come.
States That Ban Abortion Should Pay the People Forced to Give Birth
A new South Carolina bill says the state needs to cover medical expenses for pregnant people and babies born as a result of abortion bans.
by Susan Rinkunas
Dec 16 2019
Last week, a South Carolina state senator filed an incredible bill that every pro-choice lawmaker in the U.S. should copy. It says that if the state wants to ban abortion, it should have to pay all of the costs of birthing and raising children born as a result. SB 928 says that anyone forced to give birth against their will would be acting as a gestational surrogate for the state—literal labor for which they should be compensated.
The genius legislation is called the Pro Birth Accountability Act—a not-so-subtle reference to the idea that anti-abortion lawmakers who consider themselves to be “pro-life” tend to be conservatives who also typically don’t support programs like Medicaid expansion, food assistance, and paid family leave, which would help people have healthy pregnancies and babies. In short, the bill asserts, they’re not pro-life, they’re pro-birth.