OCT. 27, 2020
By Madeleine Aggeler
With the appointment of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, the legal battle over reproductive rights in the United States is likely to intensify quickly. There are currently 17 abortion-related cases one step away from the Supreme Court. And now, with a 6-3 conservative majority on the Court, the future of Roe v. Wade — the 1973 case which ruled that abortion is a constitutional right — is more uncertain than ever.
Barrett, a devout Catholic and former mentee of the late conservative Justice Antonin Scalia, evaded questions about abortion during her confirmation hearing. But pro-choice groups like NARAL and Planned Parenthood have called her a “clear and present danger to Roe and reproductive freedom,” and “a particular insult to the legacy of Justice Ginsberg.” Indeed, Barrett was a member of an anti-abortion, “right to life” group in Indiana as recently as 2016, and in 2013, she gave two talks to anti-abortion student groups at the University of Notre Dame.
PBS, Oct 21, 2020
by Courtney Vinopal
Over her three-day confirmation hearing, Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett repeatedly declined to discuss her stance on abortion. But while there is no way to know for certain how she will rule on such cases, legal scholars say that her record, as well as a careful reading of certain answers she gave the Senate Judiciary Committee, gives clues about where the Supreme Court could be headed on issues of reproductive rights.
Barrett assured members of the committee that she would bring “no agenda” to her role if confirmed to the high court. She has also expressed anti-abortion beliefs in the past, and joined two dissents on abortion restriction cases during her time on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.
Roe v. Wade Might Be Overturned Soon — This Is Worse Than You Think
OCTOBER 20, 2020
Angel Kai’s* heart sank when she found out she was pregnant again. The 20-year-old had delivered her second child only three months prior. She was on unpaid maternity leave from her job in Amarillo, TX, and she’d just received a $130 electricity bill in the mail that she didn’t know if she’d be able to pay. “Everything that was happening financially was just bad,” she remembers. “I couldn’t have another kid. I knew getting an abortion would be the best thing, because I couldn’t walk up the street to get a soda if I wanted one at the time. We were that tight on money.”
It turned out, though, that Angel couldn’t even afford the abortion she knew she wanted. Her health plan was offered under state-funded Medicaid, which, in Texas, only covers abortion in cases of life endangerment, rape, and incest. So, Angel Googled “abortion financial help.”
By Quoctrung Bui, Claire Cain Miller and Margot Sanger-Katz
Ne York Times
Oct. 15, 2020
The almost-certain confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court has increased the chances that Roe v. Wade will be weakened or overturned. If that were to happen, abortion access would decline in large regions of the country, a new data analysis shows.
Legal abortion access would be unchanged in more than half of states, but it would effectively end for those living in much of the American South and Midwest, especially those who are poor, according to the analysis. (The analysis incorporates more recent data on research we wrote about last year.)
Carlie Porterfield, Forbes Staff
Oct 14, 2020
As the third day of Senate hearings on President Trump’s latest Supreme Court nominee, Amy Coney Barrett, had Republicans praising her reported pro-life personal beliefs Wednesday, dozens of elected prosecutors and attorneys general from across the nation issued a joint statement that they will not criminalize abortion even if Roe v. Wade were to be overturned.
In the letter, 64 prosecutors—which range from local prosecutors to state attorneys general—are clear that they will not prosecute people who elect to have an abortion or the doctors who carry out the procedure, “even if the protections of Roe v. Wade were to be eroded or overturned,” the letter reads.
States Are Using the Cover of COVID-19 to Restrict Abortion and Healthcare for Women
With constituents distracted by the deadly pandemic, Republican state legislatures across the country are ramping up efforts to limit access to abortion
By Alex Morris
March 30, 2020
On March 18th, as the reality of the coronavirus crisis was becoming painfully apparent to Americans, the Idaho legislature was turning its attention to healthcare concerns of another kind: making sure that women were denied access to abortion at some nebulous future date. Across the country, state legislatures had gone into recess, heeding the social distancing advice of medical professionals. Not Idaho. For at least an hour on the floor of the House, there was vigorous debate over Senate Bill 1385, a so-called “trigger law” that would immediately criminalize abortion in the state if Roe v. Wade were overturned or a constitutional amendment gave states the right to criminalize it themselves. Under the law, performing an abortion would be a felony, except in instances of officially-reported rape or incest, or to save the life of the mother. “Everyone needs to face the consequences of their own personal choices,” Representative Megan Blanksma said in her closing debate, just before the bill passed 49-18 and made its way to Governor Brad Little’s desk to be signed, which it was last Tuesday.
Abortion Rights in Peril — What Clinicians Need to Know
Elizabeth Nash, M.P.P.
August 8, 2019
N Engl J Med 2019; 381:497-499
This year, 2019, has become a critical time for abortion rights, with an unprecedented surge of abortion bans sweeping across the United States. Through June 1, some 26 abortion bans have been enacted in 12 states, and many more have been introduced by state legislators.
Yet state efforts to undermine abortion rights and access have been under way since the 1973 decisions in Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton affirmed the constitutional right to abortion. During that time, the U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly affirmed the right to abortion while also modifying the legal framework that shapes access to care.
How States Are Preparing For A Potential Roe v. Wade Challenge
April 23, 2019
by Priyanka Boghani
Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s ascent to the Supreme Court last year brought the future of abortion access into question. Lawmakers and activists on both sides of the debate saw his confirmation — and a shift to a conservative-leaning court — as a step toward overturning Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that legalized abortion in the U.S.
Ahead of Kavanaugh’s confirmation, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, a Democrat from New York, warned that the Supreme Court would “take away and criminalize women’s reproductive freedom.” Sen. Lindsey Graham, a Republican from South Carolina, laid out his hopes for Kavanaugh: “If there’s a case before him that challenges Roe v. Wade [I hope] that he would listen to both sides of the story, apply a test to overturn precedent.”
250 Abortion Restrictions Have Been Introduced In The U.S. This Year Alone, Report Says
April 1, 2019
Amid constant news of unconstitutional abortion bans like Georgia's "fetal heartbeat bill," passed on Friday, a new report found that anti-choice lawmakers in 41 states have introduced over 250 bills restricting access to abortion care in the first months of 2019 alone. The report was released on Wednesday by the Planned Parenthood Federation of America and Guttmacher Institute.
For years, conservative lawmakers have relentlessly introduced and passed measures such as waiting periods, targeted regulation of abortion providers (TRAP) laws, limits on abortion medication, and restrictions that dictate at which point in their pregnancies women can terminate them. The anti-choice crusade has led to an uptick in abortion deserts, places where people have to travel 100 miles or more to access care. A total of six states has been left with only one abortion provider to serve the entire state.
The Abortion Divide Gets Deeper
With Roe threatened, red and blue states are pulling even further apart.
March 29, 2019
This week, a Georgia state representative, Ed Setzler, the sponsor of a bill that would ban most abortions as soon as a fetal heartbeat could be detected, spoke to a conservative group in the Atlanta suburbs about the legal fight he’d embarked on. “We need to maximize our influence over the next couple of weeks and then close this deal,” he said. Then, he continued, conservatives must mobilize behind Georgia’s Republican governor, Brian Kemp, as “he recruits the best legal team in the nation to take this to the highest court in the land.”
With the ascension of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, as well as a host of other judges appointed by Donald Trump to lower courts, anti-abortion forces are engaged in a game of legislative whack-a-mole. Sensing their chance to either eviscerate or overturn Roe v. Wade, Republicans are pushing a barrage of anti-abortion measures at the state level, seeing which one goes all the way to the top.