USA – In Medicine, a Lack of Courage Has Helped Put Roe in Jeopardy

Jan. 21, 2022
By Eyal Press

This Saturday marks the 49th, and quite possibly the last, anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court ruling that legalized abortion in every state. Roe’s precarious future can be attributed to various factors: the tenacity of the anti-abortion movement, the addition of three conservative justices to the court during Donald Trump’s presidency, the opportunities that pro-choice advocates may have missed. But if, as is widely expected, the Supreme Court upholds a Mississippi statute that bans most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy and overturns or guts Roe later this year, I will be thinking about something else: not the legal precedent, but the role that lawlessness and terrorism — and the medical community’s response to it — played in hastening Roe’s demise.

The act of terrorism that particularly haunts me took place on Oct. 23, 1998. That evening, an obstetrician-gynecologist named Barnett Slepian was standing in the kitchen of his home in Amherst, N.Y., a suburb of Buffalo, when a sniper’s bullet struck him in the back. He collapsed to the floor and, within a few hours, was pronounced dead. At the time, Dr. Slepian was one of three abortion providers in the Greater Buffalo area. One of the others was my father, Shalom Press, an obstetric gynecologist who performed abortions on certain days in his private practice.

Continued: https://www.nytimes.com/2022/01/21/opinion/roe-v-wade-abortion-doctors-violence.html


USA – ‘Historical accident’: how abortion came to focus white, evangelical anger

A short history of the Roe decision’s emergence as a signature cause for the right

Jessica Glenza
Sun 5 Dec 2021

Public opinion on abortion in the US has changed little since 1973, when the supreme court in effect legalized the procedure nationally in its ruling on the case Roe v Wade. According to Gallup, which has the longest-running poll on the issue, about four in five Americans believe abortion should be legal, at least in some circumstances.

Yet the politics of abortion have opened deep divisions in the last five decades, which have only grown more profound in recent years of polarization. In 2021, state legislators have passed dozens of restrictions to abortion access, making it the most hostile year to abortion rights on record.

Continued: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/dec/05/abortion-opposition-focus-white-evangelical-anger


USA – As the Supreme Court Weighs the Future of Abortion, Women Are Already Suffering

Attacks on reproductive rights have metastasized well beyond abortion in recent years, endangering women’s health and lives.

By Michele Goodwin
Nov 12, 2021

In the nearly 50 years since the Supreme Court decided Roe v. Wade, there has perhaps never been a more consequential moment for abortion rights than the one we are in now. This fall, the nation’s highest court is hearing not one but three cases that could upend the fundamental promise at the heart of Roe: that pregnant women in the United States have a right to an abortion until a fetus becomes viable, which is around 24 weeks. On November 1, the court heard the first two of these cases, Whole Woman’s Health v. Jackson and United States v. Texas, which addressed Texas’s near-total abortion ban, the law known as SB 8. And on December 1, the court will hear arguments in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which takes on the 15-week abortion ban passed by Mississippi in 2018. In that case, the state has made a direct appeal to the Supreme Court to overrule Roe.

Continued: https://www.thenation.com/article/society/abortion-women-health/


How Texas Abortion Volunteers Are Adapting After S.B. 8

In addition to helping people get to abortion appointments out of state, volunteer groups have been inundated with requests to deliver Plan B pills and pregnancy tests.

By Lizzie Widdicombe
October 6, 2021

Amanda Bennett was in the Texas legislature this past May, on the day that Senate Bill 8, a near-total ban on abortions, was passed by the state’s House of Representatives. Bennett, a twenty-nine-year-old pro-choice activist, had gone to the capitol to protest the legislation. She recalled the eerie calm that day—there wasn’t much debate over the law, which prohibits abortions upon detection of fetal cardiac activity (starting as early as six weeks into a pregnancy) and does not make exceptions for survivors of rape or incest. Many observers assumed that the law would soon be struck down in court. “It wasn’t anything like Wendy Davis’s filibuster,” Bennett said, referring to the Texas state senator’s thirteen-hour attempt to block S.B. 5, an earlier antiabortion bill, in 2013. “It just passed quietly. I honestly think even some of the Republicans thought it was purely symbolic.” But, nearly four months later, the Supreme Court refused to strike down the ban, and getting an abortion in Texas, which was already extremely difficult, became almost impossible.

Continued: https://www.newyorker.com/news/annals-of-activism/how-texas-abortion-volunteers-are-adapting-after-sb-8


Four Women Reflect on Traveling Out of State for Their Abortions

As a new Texas law restricts access to abortion, we speak to women who previously traveled for such medical care.

BY DANIELLE CAMPOAMOR
September 21, 2021

On Wednesday, September 1, a near-total abortion ban went into effect in the state of Texas, outlawing abortion past six weeks gestation—before most people even know they’re pregnant. Given pre-existing anti-abortion laws that already made it difficult for Texans to access abortion care—including a 24-hour mandatory waiting period, mandatory counseling, and targeted restrictions on abortion providers (TRAP) that previously shuttered over half of all abortion clinics in the state—many will now have to travel out of state to receive the healthcare they need. As a result of this latest law, the average one-way driving distance to an abortion clinic in Texas has increased 20 fold, from 12 miles to 248 miles, according to the Guttmacher Institute.

But people have been traveling to receive abortion care long before Texas’s abortion ban went into effect.

Continued: https://www.cntraveler.com/story/four-women-reflect-on-traveling-out-of-state-for-their-abortions


What U.S. abortion access looks like, in graphics

States are passing more abortion restrictions, which could reshape what abortion access looks like across the country.

July 25, 2021
By Chloe Atkins

The current landscape of abortion access in the United States came into focus in May after the Supreme Court decided to consider the legality of Mississippi's ban on nearly all abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy. Mississippi’s restriction was the first to reach the court from a wave of state laws intended to strike down Roe v. Wade, the decision that established the constitutional right to an abortion nationwide.

The first major abortion case since the confirmation of Justice Amy Coney Barrett solidified a conservative majority comes as state legislatures around the country have brought a historic number of laws seeking to tighten abortion access.

Continued: https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/what-u-s-abortion-access-looks-graphics-n1274859


An Abortion Provider Discusses His Biggest Fears Over Texas’ Abortion ‘Bounty’ Law

Will other states follow Texas’ lead? Will clinics be able to withstand the potential onslaught of lawsuits? “We have no idea what this is going to look like,” says Dr. Bhavik Kumar.

JULY 16, 2021
By TESSA STUART

Dr. Bhavik Kumar has been a Texas abortion provider for six years, with the last two at the Planned Parenthood Center for Choice in Houston, Texas. He started practicing shortly after House Bill 2 — the last Texas abortion law to go all the way to the Supreme Court before it was struck down as unconstitutional — went into effect. In the three years between the law’s passage and the Supreme Court’s decision, HB2 forced roughly half of Texas’ abortion providers to shut their doors.

A new bill, passed by the Texas State Legislature in May and signed into law by Gov. Greg Abbott in June, has the potential to be even more disruptive. Instead of outlawing abortion outright, the new law empowers private citizens to sue doctors like Kumar, nurses, members of his staff, as well as anyone else who “aids and abets” an abortion — family members who drive patients to the clinic, faith leaders who provide counseling, abortion funds — for $10,000 each. The ban applies to abortions that take place after heart activity can be detected in the embryo — six weeks gestation, or roughly two weeks after a woman’s missed period, when many women don’t even know they are pregnant yet.

continued: https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-news/sb-8-texas-abortion-law-10000-dollar-bounty-1194953/


State Policy Trends at Midyear 2021: Already the Worst Legislative Year Ever for U.S. Abortion Rights

Elizabeth Nash, Guttmacher Institute
Sophia Naide, Guttmacher Institute
First published online: July 1, 2021

In the first six months of the year, many state legislatures engaged in an assault on many civil rights, including abortion, voting and transgender rights. More abortion restrictions—90—have already been enacted in 2021 than in any year since the Roe v. Wade decision was handed down in 1973. Many of these actions took place in the beginning of the year, despite the need for state legislatures to address critical issues ranging from racial equity to the COVID-19 response and pandemic-related health care.

In addition to their relentless attacks on abortion, several state legislatures have focused on measures that target transgender youth by banning gender-affirming care or restricting their participation in sports. These laws are part of a new wave of restrictions that build on transphobic legislation from previous years, including “bathroom bills” that require individuals to use the bathroom that corresponds to their sex as assigned at birth and bills to ban puberty blockers, which give young people time to make a decision about transitioning.

Continued: https://www.guttmacher.org/article/2021/07/state-policy-trends-midyear-2021-already-worst-legislative-year-ever-us-abortion


How the Anti-Abortion Movement Used the Progressive Playbook to Chip Away at Roe v. Wade

Mary Ziegler and Robert L. Tsai
Sat, June 12, 2021

The Supreme Court captured its biggest headlines last month not for a decision, but for a case it agreed to review next year: Dobbs vs. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. The case turns on a 2018 Mississippi law banning abortion at 15 weeks, but its impact will likely reach well beyond one state. To uphold Mississippi’s law—which the Court’s conservative majority is expected to do—the Court will have to undo all or part of Roe v. Wade.

Such a sweeping decision might seem like an opportunistic swipe at abortion rights, a conservative court suddenly reversing 50 years of precedent with a single move. But if the Court does rule that way, the story behind it will be far more complex and important to understand. The attack on Roe has been decades in the making—and its successes owe not just to the strength of the conservative anti-abortion movement, but to the progressive playbook that achieved breakthroughs on civil rights, gay marriage and even abortion.

Continued: https://news.yahoo.com/anti-abortion-movement-used-progressive-060015339.html


International Leaders Join Call for End to All Legal Barriers to Abortion

"Women must have the right to decide about their own bodies—that is a human right."

JULIA CONLEY, Common Dreams
June 9, 2021

Several international lawmakers and leaders joined rights activists Wednesday in a call for all legal barriers to abortion care to be removed worldwide, demanding clinics that were shut down during the pandemic be reopened and for a "global campaign of factual and unbiased information" to counter well-funded anti-choice groups.

Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo was among the signatories of the letter organized by the SheDecides movement, as well as equality ministers from France, Canada, and Norway; Parliament members from Belgium and Zimbabwe; and international development ministers from Sweden and the Netherlands.

Continued: https://www.laprogressive.com/legal-barriers-to-abortion/