Abortion rights leaders set focus on access, medication — and the long fight ahead

The presidents of Planned Parenthood and NARAL Pro-Choice America both say that they’re alarmed at attempts to decrease access to medication abortion and that they see young people as key to their ability to change policy in the long term.

Grace Panetta, Political reporter
January 23, 2023

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Two of the most prominent leaders in the abortion rights movement told The 19th they’re preparing to tackle future abortion bans and restrictions at the state level, efforts to undermine medication abortion and abortion access deserts as the United States enters its first full year without Roe v. Wade.

Lawmakers, officials and leading abortion rights advocates gathered in Tallahassee for a speech by Vice President Kamala Harris and an accompanying rally hosted by Planned Parenthood on Sunday. They were marking the 50th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Roe decision that established a federal right to abortion — one that was struck down last June. Advocates said the speech’s location in Florida’s capital drew attention to Republican lawmakers’ plans to pass additional abortion restrictions in their 2023 legislative session.

Continued: https://19thnews.org/2023/01/abortion-leaders-focus-medication-access-policy/


Harris rallies against GOP push to roll back abortion rights

By CHRIS MEGERIAN and SEUNG MIN KIM

Jan 21, 2023

WASHINGTON (AP) — Vice President Kamala Harris railed against efforts in Washington and in Republican-led states to restrict abortion on what would have been the 50th anniversary of Roe vs. Wade, invoking fundamental American values such as freedom to make the case for protecting abortion access despite the Supreme Court’s decision to eliminate constitutional protections for it.

Leading the administration’s response on commemorating Roe on Sunday, Harris methodically detailed fights throughout history for certain liberties, such as civil rights and the right to vote for women, and tied that to access for abortion, which Harris called the “fundamental, constitutional, right of a woman to make decisions about her own body.”

Continued: https://apnews.com/article/abortion-biden-politics-health-florida-state-government-3050ca96e5d1fe914c1e2c1ad18a5b8f


USA – The abortion battle has moved to your local court

BY JILL HABIG, OPINION CONTRIBUTOR
12/26/22

A federal judge in Florida is soon expected to rule on whether Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) violated the First Amendment and abused his power when he overruled the will of voters and suspended Andrew Warren — the twice-elected state prosecutor of Tampa — for vowing that neither he nor his office would prosecute abortion cases.

The case sets the stage for an epic battle between state and local power — with doctors, patients and criminal defendants caught in the crosshairs.

Continued: https://thehill.com/opinion/judiciary/3787043-the-abortion-battle-has-moved-to-your-local-court/


USA – They Pledged Not to Prosecute Abortions. The Reality Is Tougher

By Evan Peng
20 August 2022

When the US Supreme Court toppled the constitutional right to abortion, some prosecutors in cities and counties across the country vowed to refrain from enforcing new state-imposed bans on the procedure. Such promises may be hard to keep.

Just ask Andrew Warren, the twice-elected state attorney in Hillsborough County, Florida, a state where abortion is now illegal after 15 weeks of pregnancy. In June, after the Supreme Court ruling, Warren joined a group of prosecutors and some state attorneys general in a written pledge not to pursue criminal charges in abortion cases. By August, he was out of a job.

Continued: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-08-20/they-pledged-not-to-prosecute-abortions-the-reality-is-tougher#xj4y7vzkg


Florida could be a critical access point for abortion, but the state’s own battle is just starting

If Roe v. Wade is overturned, the state is poised to become a regional destination for abortion. But with a 15-week ban set to take effect, its own future is unsure.

Shefali Luthra
June 8, 2022

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Herman Miller never asks his patients why they come to his office, but sometimes they tell him anyway. They just need to say it out loud.

There are people who desperately wanted a child and then found out at 16 weeks pregnant that they would give birth to a baby with major health problems — at least one, he recalls, who would have been born without functioning lungs. There are those who had a plan, a partner who would raise a child with them, before they were left on their own. There are patients who drove six hours to get here, who couldn’t get here sooner because rent was due or a kid fell sick. Some just needed a few extra weeks to pull together a few hundred dollars.

Continued: https://19thnews.org/2022/06/florida-abortion-law-access-point-uncertain-future/


Why the Republican offensive on abortion is escalating

Ronald Brownstein
Tue April 19, 2022

(CNN) When three red states finalized severe restrictions on abortion over consecutive days last week, they highlighted the GOP's rising militancy on the issue -- and the political and legal calculations underpinning it.

Separate actions last week in Oklahoma, Florida and Kentucky made clear the red state drive to retrench, or eliminate, access to abortion is escalating as the Republican-appointed Supreme Court majority nears a decision, expected in late June, in which it is widely anticipated to overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 decision that established a nationwide right to abortion.

Continued: https://www.cnn.com/2022/04/19/politics/abortion-laws-red-states-republicans/index.html


Abortion Refugees Across America

Republican state legislatures are creating abortion refugees across America, many writing legislation that ends all abortions in their states,

SONALI KOLHATKAR
APR 18, 2022

Republican state legislatures are creating abortion refugees across America. After Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed a draconian bill, SB 8, into law last year, empowering bounty hunters to sue abortion providers, those seeking care fled to the neighboring states of Louisiana, Arkansas, and Oklahoma.

But GOP leaders were ready for them. Oklahoma’s Republican Governor Kevin Stitt on April 12 signed the nation’s strictest abortion ban into law, ending all abortions in his state except in cases of danger to the pregnant person’s life. Now, reports are emerging of Oklahomans turning to the neighboring state of Kansas for abortions.

Continued: https://www.laprogressive.com/progressive-issues/abortion-refugees-across-america


Kentucky Enacts Near-Total Abortion Ban

Abortion is now effectively illegal in Kentucky, with the state enacting the country’s harshest restrictions so far. We need a mass movement to fight for safe, legal, and free abortion, on demand.

Otto Fors and K.S. Mehta
April 16, 2022

On Wednesday, Kentucky lawmakers essentially banned abortion. Effective immediately, abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy are illegal, except in medical emergencies, with no exceptions for rape or incest.

While abortions before 15 weeks technically remain legal, other provisions in the legislation will make it virtually impossible for doctors to perform the procedure. For example, providers must comply with onerous and invasive reporting requirements about the pregnant person’s past pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections. Providers also need to maintain admitting privileges at local hospitals — an enormous barrier, given that hospitals can deny such privileges at their discretion. Providers who want to prescribe medication abortions, which account for more than half of all abortions in the state, must now also register with the state, but since Kentucky lacks this kind of registration system, they have no way of performing the procedure.

Continued: https://www.leftvoice.org/kentucky-enacts-near-total-abortion-ban/


USA – Flurry of New Laws Move Blue and Red States Further Apart

A wave of legislation, particularly in the West, is making states “not only a little different but radically different,” says one expert on government.

By Shawn Hubler and Jill Cowan
April 3, 2022

SACRAMENTO — After the governor of Texas ordered state agencies to investigate parents for child abuse if they provide certain medical treatments to their transgender children, California lawmakers proposed a law making the state a refuge for transgender youths and their families.

When Idaho proposed a ban on abortions that empowers relatives to sue anyone who helps terminate a pregnancy after six weeks, nearby Oregon approved $15 million to help cover the abortion expenses of patients from out-of-state.

Continued: https://www.nytimes.com/2022/04/03/us/state-laws-republican-democrat-division.html


State-level Republicans are going all in on extreme anti-trans, anti-abortion laws

The GOP is trying to win votes with a wave of “anti-woke” bills.

By Natasha Isak 
Mar 20, 2022

Republican-controlled state legislatures across the country are taking up anti-trans and anti-abortion bills at a shocking rate, as lawmakers seize on an enforcement mechanism first tested by Texas’s SB 8.

Multiple states — including Florida, Idaho, and Texas — have enacted, or hope to enact, new and draconian restrictions, including banning abortion after six weeks of pregnancy (functionally equivalent to an outright ban on abortion), or banning gender-affirming health care for transgender children.

Continued: https://www.vox.com/2022/3/20/22987539/anti-trans-anti-abortion-laws-texas-florida-idaho