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44 Abortion Rights News Articles
from 2022
Click on the links below to get the full story from its source

5-15-22 Abortion: Should corporations take a stand?
Why corporations aren't speaking up. The smartest insight and analysis, from all perspectives, rounded up from around the web: "Corporations used to have the luxury of staying out of politics," but they can't just sit on the fence when it comes to abortion, said Liz Plank in Fortune. They've already "taken stands on other controversial issues," ranging from gay m

5-18-22 Judge who received award from Planned Parenthood blocks Michigan's 1931 abortion ban
A Michigan Court of Claims judge ruled on Tuesday that the state's 1931 abortion ban likely violates the state constitution and granted a preliminary injunction blocking the law from taking effect, the Detroit Free Press reports. The 1931 ban is still on the books in Michigan but has been unenforceable for nearly 50 years. If the U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade (1973), the law would have once again prohibited all abortions except those performed to save the life of the mother. National Review notes that the judge who ruled in the case, Elizabeth L. Gleicher, donates to Planned Parenthood, received an award from Planned Parenthood, and represented Planned Parenthood in court during her time at the ACLU. Planned Parenthood is a plaintiff in the lawsuit. A pair of pro-life groups filed an amicus brief arguing that Gleicher should recuse herself from the case, but Democratic Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel did not file a recusal motion. Nessel also said she does not plan to appeal the ruling. The state supreme courts of Alaska, California, North Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, Florida, New Jersey, and Massachusetts have all ruled that their respective state constitutions protect the right to an abortion.

arriage "to Black Lives Matter to the anti-trans bathroom bill." Their "enthusiasm" on those issues contrasts with an astonishingly "tepid response on reproductive rights" as the country looks to the prospect of Roe v. Wade being overturned. Some major corporations, including Apple, Citigroup, Amazon, and Tesla, have said they will pay travel expenses for employees who leave their state to find an abortion provider. But only "a handful of companies, including Levi Strauss, Airbnb, and Bumble, have slowly trickled in with statements supporting women's right to choose." Women make up half the workforce. Don't companies want to signal to female employees that they have their backs? t's not that simple, said Joe Nocera in The New York Times. Corporations are spooked by what happened between Disney and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who stripped the company of its special tax status for speaking out against Florida's Parental Rights in Education Act — frequently called the Don't Say Gay law. "Business leaders I spoke with were convinced that abortion was likely to generate a wave of employee activism that dwarfed anything that came before," but many are also terrified about retaliation from other red-state leaders. "Compared with taking a public position on abortion," political outcries of the past look like a cakewalk. Corporate leaders should be scared if they keep "giving in to the woke mobs," said Charles Gasparino in the New York Post. Their silence on abortion shows conservatives that the C-suite has finally learned "something about a new brand of GOP politics." DeSantis simply "did what lawmakers should have done" when he counterpunched the virtue-signaling Disney. "There's already talk of public hearings" if the GOP takes the House and Senate, "forcing CEOs to explain why they think it's in the best interests of their shareholders to weigh in and support lefty issues." Taking a position on hot-button debates really isn't in the purview of CEOs, said Andy Serwer in Yahoo Finance: Companies have "zero obligation to take a stand on any social or political issue." But the more "tribal" and dysfunctional our politics become, the more corporations are asked to step in. Employees are stakeholders who can't be ignored, said Michael Hiltzik in the Los Angeles Times, and "few public policies have as far-reaching an effect on the health and welfare of the American workforce as access to health care." That is what's being threatened by the possibility of a repeal of Roe v. Wade. State health-care policies will almost certainly "play into decisions by prospective employees, including well-educated women," about where to accept jobs. Whether that will "outweigh the lure of low taxes and less regulation" in red states vs. blue is an open question. But businesses will take note "if valued workers start voting with their feet."

5-15-22 Roe v Wade: Thousands attend rallies in US cities to support abortion rights
Thousands of people have attended rallies across the US in support of abortion rights. According to a leaked Supreme Court document the US Supreme Court is poised to overturn Roe vs Wade - a 1973 decision that legalised abortion nationwide. In New York, protestors walked across Brooklyn Bridge chanting pro-choice slogans, while in Washington DC, demonstrators marched to the Supreme Court. Rallies were also held in other major US cities like Los Angeles, Boston and Atlanta.

5-14-22 Abortion rights protests kick off planned 'summer of rage'
Organizers of nationwide abortion rights protests said they expect hundreds of thousands of people to show up on Saturday at events in New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington, D.C., and other major cities, Reuters reports. Abortion rights groups have organized more than 300 "Bans off Our Bodies" marches to protest the leaked draft Supreme Court decision that would overturn Roe v. Wade (1973). According to The Associated Press, if the court's final ruling — which is expected in June — is substantively identical to the draft ruling, "roughly half of states, mostly in the South and Midwest, are expected to" implement near-total bans on abortion. "For the women of this country, this will be a summer of rage. We will be ungovernable until this government starts working for us, until the attacks on our bodies let up, until the right to an abortion is codified into law," Women's March President Rachel Carmona said. On Wednesday, the Senate fell 11 votes short of passing a bill that would have enshrined abortion rights in federal law.

5-13-22 Did Supreme Court justices mislead on Roe during their confirmation hearings?
How much is a precedent worth? On Sunday, as controversy over a leaked Supreme Court draft decision that would overturn Roe v. Wade (1973) continued to roil the nation, MSNBC host Ayman Mohyeldin proposed "investigating whether five justices on the Supreme Court lied during their confirmation hearings, under oath." The five justices, all of whom voted to overturn Roe, Mohyeldin continued, "said something quite different about the original 1973 decision during those hearings." He then showed several clips in which the would-be justices said they regarded Roe as a precedent of the Supreme Court or acknowledged the existence of a constitutional right to privacy. The legal doctrine of stare decisis stipulates that judges should typically rule in accordance with precedent, though it does allow for precedent to be overturned in certain cases. Notably, none of the clips show any of the justices saying that Roe could not be overturned or committing to upholding it. Pro-choice Republican Sen. Susan Collins (Maine) also suggested that some of the justices had been less than truthful. The draft decision, she said in a statement, "rocks my confidence in the court" and was "completely inconsistent with what Justice Gorsuch and Justice Kavanaugh" — both of whom she voted to confirm — "said in their hearings and in our meetings in my office." So, were they lying? Here's a selection of what Republican-appointed justices said about Roe, Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992), and stare decisis during their confirmation hearings: (Webmasters Comment: The Supreme Count is anti-women, anti-gay), anti-the people!

5-12-22 Fierce US abortion debate spills over into Canada
With the overturn of Roe v Wade potentially on the horizon in the US, anti-abortion activists in Canada say they are optimistic the "culture change" could spill across the border. The Campaign Life Coalition says it is confident it will galvanise a shift in Canada as well. Abortion was decriminalised in the country in 1988. On Thursday, the group will hold its annual march against abortions on Parliament Hill. At a news conference on Wednesday, organisers from the socially conservative group discussed the implications for Canada of the leaked US Supreme Court draft opinion suggesting the landmark 1973 ruling that legalised abortion nationwide might be overturned. If the court does strike down the Roe v Wade ruling, individual states would be allowed to ban abortion if they wish. It is expected abortion could then be banned in almost half of US states. Jack Fonseca, Campaign Life Coalition director of political operations, said the group hopes that it could serve as a "tipping point" in Canada. "It will enable Canadians to have kitchen table conversations about the humanity of the unborn child," he said. "Hearts and minds will be changed much more rapidly and much more easily." A poll released this week by Leger and the Association for Canadian Studies suggested that about four in five Canadians support a woman's right to have abortion access, compared to 14% who said that they are opposed. Almost half of the poll's respondents said they believe that changes to US abortion laws could have an impact on Canada. A 2021 Ipsos poll indicated similar public opinion, with 60% of respondents saying abortion should be permitted whenever a woman decides she wants one, and 16% saying it should be permitted under certain circumstances. The leak of the draft top court opinion last week sent ripples through Canadian politics. Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted: "We'll never back down from protecting and promoting women's rights in Canada and around the world."

5-12-22 US Democrats' bid for federal abortion law fails in the Senate
US Senate Democrats have failed to pass a bill to make the right to abortion a federal law, as the nation's top court is poised to curtail it. The move, meant to counter the Supreme Court's expected ruling that abortions can be banned, was seen as doomed from the start. The Democrat-led House passed the bill, but it failed 49-51 in the Senate. Votes were closely watched as abortion emerges as a flashpoint ahead of this year's midterm elections. "Sadly, the Senate failed to stand in defence of a woman's right to make decisions over her own body," Vice-President Kamala Harris, a Democrat, said outside the Senate chamber following the vote. Despite the heightened scrutiny, it appeared to be business-as-usual in the Senate. Vice-President Harris presided over the vote in the mostly empty chamber as senators gradually filed in to cast their votes. Wednesday's vote came a day before the Supreme Court's nine justices are due to meet for the first time since a draft ruling on abortion rights was leaked last week. The document suggested the court will overturn Roe v Wade, the 1973 ruling that granted women a constitutional right to abortion. The leaked document, in which conservative Justice Samuel Alito wrote that Roe was "egregiously wrong", triggered a political earthquake and demonstrations - either in protest or celebration - on both sides of the abortion debate. The White House is now facing calls to condemn unlawful rallies by pro-choice activists outside the justices' private homes. The draft opinion would not result in a nationwide ban on the procedure, but would allow states to bar abortion outright. Ahead of the vote, a cluster of House Democrats - mostly women - walked across the Capitol to the Senate, chanting "my body, my decision" as a sign of support for the now failed legislation. The bill before the Senate, called the Women's Health Protection Act, would bar states from enacting restrictions deemed "medically unnecessary", such as mandatory waiting periods and regulations on abortion clinics.

5-11-22 Manchin joins Republicans to kill Senate abortion bill
The Senate voted 51–49 on Wednesday against a bill that would have enshrined abortion access in federal law in response to the Supreme Court's leaked draft decision overturning Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey. The Women's Health Protection Act, which required 60 votes to pass, was doomed from the start. All 50 Senate Republicans voted against the bill, as did Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.). "They're trying to make people believe that this is the same thing as codifying Roe v. Wade. And I want you to know, it's not. This is not the same. It expands abortion," Manchin said before the vote. Pro-choice Republican Susan Collins (Maine) concurred. In February, she said the WHPA "goes far beyond what is necessary to codify the abortion rights in Roe and Casey" and introduced the narrower Reproductive Choice Act as an alternative. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), who co-sponsored the RCA, also voted against the WHPA on Wednesday. Sen. Bob Casey (D-Penn.), who has described himself as pro-life, voted for the bill, citing "serious concerns about what overturning almost 50 years of legal precedent will mean for women in states passing near or total bans on abortion."

5-11-22 Overturning Roe v Wade would be a disaster for public health
Ending abortion protections in the US could start the unravelling of many hard-won rights – with dire consequences for health and equality. THE right to end a pregnancy has been protected in the US for nearly 50 years. In a matter of weeks, that may change. The country’s highest court is poised to overturn the landmark 1973 Roe v Wade decision. This would be disastrous for public health and equality more broadly. The US already has the highest maternal mortality rate of any wealthy nation, with 23.8 deaths per 100,000 live births. In the UK, it is 8.8 deaths per 100,000 live births. Given the significant health risks associated with pregnancy and childbirth, forcing more people to carry unwanted pregnancies and give birth means forcing them to face those dangers. Those who seek and are denied abortions also report higher levels of anxiety, lower self-esteem and poorer quality of life compared with those who are able to obtain one. Things are particularly worrying when you look at existing outcomes for US minority groups, especially Black women, whose maternal mortality rate is nearly three times that of white women. Health insurance coverage is also lower among minority groups, affecting access to more expensive, long-lasting forms of contraception, such as intrauterine devices or implants, increasing the risk of unintended pregnancy. Black women make up 28 per cent of those seeking abortions in the US each year, despite being just 14 per cent of the nation’s female population. If abortion is restricted or banned in more than half of US states, only those with the means to travel to a place where it is legal will be able to have the procedure done safely without fear of prosecution. Abortion is one of the safest gynaecological procedures, but when performed in unsanitary conditions or by untrained providers, it can be deadly.

5-11-22 What is at risk if Roe v Wade is repealed in the US?
State laws could restrict abortion in large parts of the US, and other reproductive healthcare offerings may be at stake if Roe v Wade is overturned. THE US Supreme Court appears to be on the brink of repealing Roe v Wade, the 1973 ruling that protects the right to an abortion in the country. Should the seminal case be overturned, it will be left to each state to decide whether abortion is legal for its residents. According to the Guttmacher Institute, a reproductive rights research group, 13 states have so-called trigger laws ready that would effectively ban all abortions as soon as the ruling is overturned. Another nine states have restrictive abortion laws enacted before 1973 that will go back into effect if the case is repealed. Four more states are expected to pass anti-abortion legislation as soon as federal protections are lifted. Six in 10 US women aged 13 to 44 live in one of these 26 states, which are primarily in the South and the Midwest (see “The legal landscape”). Restrictions in these states would range from abortion bans after six weeks of pregnancy (only two weeks after a first missed period) to recognising “fetal personhood”, which declares that life begins at fertilisation and bans all abortions. Some states would allow exceptions in cases of rape, incest or when the pregnant person’s life is at risk; others wouldn’t. Several studies have found that abortion rates aren’t lower in countries with more restrictive laws, but deaths due to abortion are as much as 34 times higher. These findings have been used to suggest that such restrictive laws don’t reduce the total number of abortions, they simply reduce the number of safe abortions. Antonia Biggs at the University of California, San Francisco, says in the US in 2022, that isn’t precisely true. She helped run the Turnaway study, the most comprehensive investigation to date of what happens to people denied an abortion. Biggs and her colleagues interviewed nearly 1000 women across the US, following up with them for five years. They found that, of those who were initially denied an abortion, only about 20 per cent later obtained one.

5-11-22 Opinion striking down Roe v. Wade still the only draft at Supreme Court, still has 5 votes, Politico reports
Justice Samuel Alito's "sweeping and blunt draft majority opinion" striking down Roe v. Wade and the constitutional right to abortion remains the Supreme Court's "only circulated draft in the pending Mississippi abortion case," Politico reported Wednesday morning, "and none of the conservative justices who initially sided with Alito have to date switched their votes." Alito's leaked draft was written in February, but no dissenting draft opinions have circulated among the justices, stalling the normal give-and-take before opinions are settled, Politico says. The nine justices will meet at the fenced-off Supreme Court on Thursday for the first time since Politico published Alito's draft, alerting Americans that the end of national abortion rights appears imminent, and "it's an understatement to say they are heavily, heavily burdened" by the internal leak and public response, a person close to the court's conservatives told Politico. The justices have about seven weeks left in their term to finalize their opinions and votes on the Mississippi case, the most consequential of this term, Politico's Josh Gerstein, Alexander Ward, and Ryan Lizza report. And the biggest remaining drama is what Chief Justice John Roberts will do: join the three liberals in dissent, join a watered-down version of Alito's opinion, write his own dissent, or try to poach one of the other five conservatives to a less sweeping assault on Roe. That last option seems unlikely, conservative lawyer Curt Levey tells Politico. "There probably was a time when Roberts could've convinced one of the other conservative justices," but there seems "to be some bitterness among the other justices" stemming from Roberts' votes with the liberal win on several high-high profile cases, from ObamaCare to gay marriage. "Maybe this is the ultimate payback that in the most controversial of all cases and the biggest threat to the legitimacy of the court that he no longer has the persuasive power," Levey speculates. Read more at Poltiico.

5-10-22 Senate approves police protection for SCOTUS families rattled by protests
The U.S. Senate voted on Monday to grant police protection to the families of Supreme Court justices, who have faced protests outside their homes after a leaked draft decision enraged abortion rights activists, NPR reported. The Supreme Court Police Parity Act, which was introduced by Sens. John Cornyn (R-Texas) and Chris Coons (D-Del.), passed the Senate by unanimous consent and will now go before the House of Representatives. The bill empowers the Supreme Court Police — at the direction of the chief justice and the Marshal of the Supreme Court — to provide protection to "any member of the immediate family of the Chief Justice, any Associate Justice, or any officer of the Supreme Court if the Marshal determines such protection is necessary." Existing federal law allows the Supreme Court Police to protect justices, officers, guests, and employees of the Supreme Court, but not their families. On Monday night, around 100 demonstrators protested in front of the Alexandria home of Justice Samuel Alito, who authored the opinion. Protests have also sprung up in front of the homes of Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Brett Kavanaugh. It is a federal crime to protest in front of a court or a judge's home with the intent of influencing the court's decision. It is not, however, illegal to protest outside a judge's home for other reasons, such as expressing outrage.

5-10-22 Abortion protests: Security tightened around court justices
US law enforcement agencies are beefing up security for Supreme Court justices after a leak suggested they may overturn legalised abortion. The US Marshals Service said on Monday it was helping the agencies normally tasked with the judges' protection. A protest was held on Monday night at Justice Samuel Alito's house in Alexandria, Virginia. Activists chanted: "Abort the court!" Rallies were held outside the homes of two other justices this weekend. On Saturday night, a group of about 100 people marched from the home of Justice Brett Kavanaugh to Chief Justice John Roberts' house nearby in Chevy Chase, Maryland. Shut Down DC, the left-wing group behind Monday's demonstration outside Justice Alito's house, said the plan was to "hold a moment of silence for the rights we know are ours". Separately, an anti-abortion centre suffered an arson attack on Sunday. On Monday, the US Senate unanimously passed a bill that would provide police protection to the immediate families of the nine Supreme Court justices and other officers of the court, if deemed necessary by the Marshals Service. The bill will still need to go before the US House of Representatives. The White House said earlier on Monday that demonstrations should never include "violence, threats or vandalism". "[President Biden] strongly believes in the constitutional right to protest," said a statement from his press secretary Jen Psaki. "But that should never include violence, threats, or vandalism. Judges perform an incredibly important function in our society, and they must be able to do their jobs without concern for their personal safety." On Monday, the US Marshals Service announced it was helping the police agencies normally tasked with the security of the Supreme Court's nine justices. The US Marshals Service said the decision to back up the justices' security detail came "in response to increased security concerns stemming from the unauthorised release of the draft opinion". A draft opinion leaked last week suggests a majority of the Supreme Court would overturn US women's federally protected right to abortion.

5-10-22 Roe v Wade: Are period-tracking apps still safe to use in the US?
Some period-tracking apps share data with third parties. With the potential rolling back of abortion protections in the US, people are reassessing if the data collected by these apps could be used as evidence against them. The recent leak of a draft opinion from the US Supreme Court suggests that Roe v Wade could be overturned, eliminating the country-wide right to an abortion. The prospect has re-raised questions about the privacy of period-tracking apps. S­ome apps share data with third parties for advertising or research purposes, causing concern this data could be used as evidence against anyone seeking or obtaining an abortion in states that outlaw the procedure should Roe v Wade be overturned. Period-tracking apps vary in scope. In some, people record simple details, like when their period begins and ends, and the app the makes predictions about when their period will arrive in future and when they are ovulating. Others also act as social sites, with calendars, nutrition tips and forums where users can chat about their sex drive or share experiences trying to get pregnant. The data that can be sold from these apps depends on what is in the terms and conditions, although these can be hundreds of pages long and hard to decipher. Some apps promise to strip identifying details such as a user’s name, address or email before selling or sharing any data, but that may not include details like an IP address, which can be linked to a specific device. “Machine learning techniques are so sophisticated it is not necessary to have a person’s name to uniquely identify them,” says Pam Dixon, founder of World Privacy Forum, a non-profit public research group. That creates a conundrum if the US Supreme Court strikes down nationwide abortion protections. If the draft opinion stands, states will have the power to write their own laws around the legality – and illegality – of abortion. “If you live in places where abortion becomes illegal, it would be a bad idea to put in Facebook, Twitter or a period tracker app ‘I had an abortion’,” says India McKinney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF).

5-8-22 Abbott is 'attacking the people of Texas,' O'Rourke says after Houston abortion rights rally
Texas Democratic gubernatorial candidate Beto O'Rourke attended a large rally in Houston on Saturday to protest the Supreme Court's draft decision that would overturn the constitutional right to an abortion, a local ABC affiliate reported. According to O'Rourke, nearly 5,000 people gathered at Discovery Green, a park in downtown Houston. Speaking to journalists after the rally, O'Rourke accused Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R), who is running for a third term and supports the state's near-total ban on abortion, of "attacking the people of Texas." Abbott, O'Rourke said, was ignoring the will of "the vast majority of Texans" who "want to protect the right of every woman to make her own health care decisions." Polling data shows that 48 percent of Texans believe abortion should be "mostly illegal," while 46 percent believe it should be "mostly legal," The New York Times reported Wednesday, while a University of Texas poll from April found that 78 percent of Texans said abortion should be allowed in some form, versus 15 percent who said it should never be permitted. O'Rourke trails Abbott by around 11 percentage points, a poll conducted last month found. The rally in Houston was far from the only one held Saturday, though it "might have been the largest gathering of the protests that were scheduled in more than a dozen cities and communities," the Times reports. On Sunday, which was also Mother's Day, supporters of abortion rights protested outside the Basilica of St. Patrick's Old Cathedral in New York City, Fox News reported. On Tuesday, the abortion rights group Ruth Sent Us called for protests to disrupt Catholic masses over the weekend.

5-5-22 Mail-order abortion pill sales are surging in red states
If the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, ending the federal right to abortion, The Washington Post says it "could trigger a surge of interest in a method of pregnancy termination that has become popular in states that already restrict the procedure: Abortion pills by mail." Several Republican lawmakers have made attempts to prohibit the abortion pills from being shipped or prescribed, however, some people are finding ways around that by ordering the pills online "from overseas pharmacies that can't be reached by U.S. laws," the Post reports. It's a five-day dosage of tablets that typically comes in an "unassuming envelope," which makes it hard to patrol. These nondescript shipments "will probably become another front in the battle over abortion rights," says the Post. "Mailed pills are hard to police," Temple Law School's Rachel Rebouche said, but "[t]hat has not stopped [states] from trying." Experts believe more people will turn to those online sources if abortion rights are overturned. In 2000 the Food and Drug Administration approved mifepristone, taken along with misoprostol, to induce what is essentially a miscarriage, explains the Post. It's approved as safe and effective for use up to 10 weeks of pregnancy. Advocates say residents of Texas and several other states with strict policies on abortions "have already helped fuel the boom in medication abortions, as patients seek alternatives to surgical abortions at a clinic." Read more at The Washington Post.

5-5-22 Anger outside Mississippi's last abortion clinic
"That was the murderer, that was the abortionist." That's how a doctor arriving at the last abortion clinic in Mississippi was greeted when he arrived for work on Wednesday. Angry protests are nothing new outside the Jackson Women's Health Organization, a clinic in a bright pink building that's on the front line of America's battle over abortion. Some demonstrators follow patients, chant Christian prayers, and call for doctors and volunteers to repent. "Turn to Christ!" and "repent for your sins" shout others. But events beyond Mississippi this week have transformed the national abortion debate. The clinic is a defendant in the US Supreme Court case which may overturn the constitutional right to an abortion in the US. A final ruling is not expected until late June or July, but in a draft opinion sensationally leaked on Monday, a majority of the court supported such a move. That would leave the so-called Pink House with a tough decision to make. Its director Shannon Brewer has said the clinic would probably be forced to close or move. She told reporters that plans are being made to relocate to New Mexico, where abortion is expected to remain legal even if Roe v Wade - the landmark 1973 ruling that effectively legalised abortion - is struck down. On Wednesday morning, several clinic volunteers waited by the gates to help those who have come to terminate pregnancies get past the protesters. Kim Gibson, in her clearly identifiable rainbow jacket, was one of them. "No-one should have to put up with this abuse to take care of themselves," she says. She believes that evangelical activists will move on to try to stop other things they oppose. "This is the beginning, not the end. Abortion, contraception, gay marriage - they want to get rid of all these things, they'll tell you that themselves."

5-4-22 Draft abortion opinion leads to speculation around future of contraception, marriage rights
After a draft opinion of the Supreme Court's plan to overturn landmark abortion case Roe v. Wade was leaked, The Guardian says "legal experts believe other laws about individual autonomy may be in danger, including the right to access contraception. Broad language in an abortion ruling could potentially imperil certain methods of birth control, which "opponents incorrectly say are working as abortion-causing medications," The Guardian adds. That means striking down the right to contraception (Griswold v. Connecticut) could be next, some experts predict. Wendy Parmet, faculty co-director for the Center for Health Policy and Law at Northeastern University says "[i]f this [draft] opinion becomes the opinion of the court, Griswold is imperiled – no question." Additionally, The Washington Post points to speculation that a major abortion restriction could also threaten to "erase decades of activism by the LGBTQ community" on same-sex marriage. Because the draft opinion argues that Roe is a faulty law, The Guardian reports, some analysts think it could rope in other cases based on the 14th amendment, "like Obergefell v. Hodges on same-sex marriage, Loving v. Virginia on interracial marriage, and Lawrence v. Texas on consensual sex." "Legal experts are divided on whether the right to same-sex marriage is actually in danger," writes the Post, noting that the draft opinion did emphasize that "nothing in this opinion should be understood to cast doubt on precedents that do not concern abortion." Read more at The Washington Post and The Guardian.

5-4-22 How repealing Roe v Wade in the US will lead to more women’s deaths
A large body of evidence shows that restricting access to abortion doesn’t reduce the number of abortions, only increases the risk of death for those who need them. A leaked US Supreme Court opinion draft suggests the nation’s highest court is on the verge of overturning Roe v Wade, the seminal 1973 ruling that protects the right to abortion in the country. The draft written by Samuel Alito, one of the court justices, was published by the news site Politico on 2 May. If – or as many now believe in the wake of this leak, when – the ruling is repealed, the consequences for women’s health will be dire. Research shows that making abortion illegal doesn’t reduce the number of abortions performed. In fact, countries with more restrictive laws actually have higher abortion rates than countries where abortion is widely available, according to a 2009 study by researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. What laws that restrict abortion do instead is substantially increase the risk of death for the people who receive them. The same study reported that abortion-related deaths are 34 times higher in countries with restrictive abortion laws. When performed properly, an abortion, either through medication or surgery, is one of the safest gynaecological procedures – much safer than childbirth. The most recent figures from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that in the US there are 0.41 deaths per 100,000 legal abortions compared with 23.8 deaths per 100,000 live births. However, when abortions are performed in unsanitary conditions or by untrained providers, they can be deadly. According to the 2009 study, 68,000 women die worldwide from unsafe abortions every year, primarily from haemorrhage and infection, and another 5 million have long-term health complications from these procedures.

5-4-22 Abortion ruling: US Supreme Court says leak is real as investigation launched
A leaked document suggesting millions of US women could lose the legal right to abortion is genuine, the Supreme Court's chief justice has confirmed. But it does not represent the court's final decision, said John Roberts. The leak has stirred expectations that the 1973 decision which legalised abortion in the US could be overturned, allowing individual states to ban it. President Joe Biden has argued that the decision - if it goes ahead - could call other freedoms into question. The leaked document - labelled "1st Draft" - appears to reflect the majority opinion of the court. Written by Justice Samuel Alito, it calls the 1973 Roe v Wade ruling - which legalised abortion across the US - "egregiously wrong from the start". The draft is not a final ruling, and opinions could change. But if Roe v Wade is overturned, around half of US states could ban abortion. In a statement, Chief Justice Roberts described the leak of the draft - first published by US website Politico - as "a singular and egregious breach" and asked the Marshal of the Supreme Court to launch an investigation. The work of the court would "not be affected in any way", he added. The draft's release has caused a wave of reaction from both sides. Anti-abortion law firm Americans United for Life urged the court to disregard "the expectations of pro-abortion activists or proxy media allies". Planned Parenthood - the largest provider of reproductive health services in the US - has said it would "continue to fight like hell to protect the right to access safe, legal abortion". It says its research found that 36 million women could lose abortion access if Roe v Wade were struck down. The ruling is in the court's sights because Mississippi is asking for it to be overturned, with a final decision expected in late June or early July. Thirteen states have already passed so-called trigger laws that will automatically ban abortion if Roe is overruled this summer. A number of others would be likely to pass laws quickly. On Tuesday, Oklahoma's governor signed into law an anti-abortion measure based on one passed in Texas last year. The law allows any private citizen to sue anyone who aids in an abortion after six weeks of gestation - before many women even know they are pregnant.

5-4-22 Can Congress legalise abortion if Supreme Court overturns Roe v Wade?
The leak of the draft opinion striking down Roe v Wade's abortion protections crashed on the American political world like a thunderbolt on Monday night. Politicians and activists on the left and right had been bracing for the possibility of such a sweeping ruling, but the left hoped and the right feared that the court's nine justices might opt for a more limited shift on abortion jurisprudence. At the very least, most court-watchers expected the final decision to come - as is tradition with most high-profile cases - in the final days of the court's formal session in June. No one imagined that for the first time in modern American history the actual text of a court's draft majority opinion would be leaked in advance. As the dust starts to settle after the initial shock of the leak, here are some ways the political landscape in the US may have been altered. The congressional mid-term election cycle is gearing up, with political parties across the US just starting to hold primaries to select their candidates for the Senate, House of Representatives and governorships and state legislative chambers. Up until now, issues like the economy, immigration and crime have been the top concerns of voters. The prospect that the US Supreme Court will tear down Roe and leave the fight over the legality of abortion in the hands of politicians, however, instantly changes the electoral dynamic. Candidates for office previously offered their views on abortion on a more theoretical plan. If they were in the Senate, they could talk about what kind of judges they would want on the courts. They could support or oppose policies that affected abortion on the margins of the constitutional rights afforded by Roe. They could speculate on what they might do if Roe were struck down.Now, the abortion issue becomes much more concrete. If they're a national politician, do they support a nationwide ban - or protection - for abortion procedures? If they're a governor, which abortion laws would they sign or veto? If they're a state legislator, what kind of laws would they support?

5-3-22 Mississippi's only abortion clinic may move to New Mexico if Roe is overturned
Mississippi's lone abortion clinic, the Jackson Women's Health Organization, will continue to offer services if Roe v. Wade is overturned, with director Shannon Brewer vowing to "fight for women regardless." The clinic is at the center of the Supreme Court case Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization, which deals with the constitutionality of the 2018 Mississippi state law banning abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy. On Monday night, Politico reported on a leaked draft opinion written by Justice Samuel Alito, which would strike down Roe, the decision that guarantees a federal constitutional right to abortion. During an interview Tuesday with NBC News, Brewer said the clinic is operating as usual, but if forced to cut back services or shut down, they will likely reopen in New Mexico. Most of the clinic's patients are already parents and living in poverty, she said, and if Roe is overturned, "It's going to affect women who need it the most. It's not going to affect women who have the means financially to be able to get an abortion anywhere. They will still have access some type of way. That's what devastates me. The ones who need it the most are the ones who will be affected." Ever since Texas enacted a law last year banning abortions as early as six weeks into a pregnancy, there has been a surge in patients from surrounding states, who now have to travel farther to undergo the procedure. "We've watched so much change just because of Texas," Brewer told NBC News. "You multiply that times 20, that's going to be detrimental. You're going to see an uptick in hospitalizations. You're going to see an uptick in women doing things that are unsafe."

5-3-22 Roe v Wade: US Supreme Court may overturn abortion rights, leak suggests
Millions of women across the US could soon lose their legal right to abortion, according to a leaked Supreme Court document. The document, published by Politico, suggests the country's top court is poised to overturn the 1973 decision that legalised abortion nationwide. If the court strikes down the Roe v Wade ruling, individual states would be allowed to ban abortion if they wish. It is expected abortion could then be banned in almost half of US states. The Supreme Court's justices are expected to issue a ruling in late June or early July. Roe v Wade is in the court's sights because Mississippi is asking for it to be overturned. The justices heard that case in December. Thirteen states have already passed so-called trigger laws that will automatically ban abortion if Roe is overruled this summer. A number of others would be likely to pass laws quickly. Some 36 million women could then lose abortion access, according to research from Planned Parenthood, a healthcare organisation which provides abortions. "If the court does overturn Roe, it will fall on our nation's elected officials at all levels of government to protect a woman's right to choose," President Joe Biden said in a statement on Tuesday. "We will need more pro-choice Senators and a pro-choice majority in the House to adopt legislation that codifies Roe, which I will work to pass and sign into law," he said. Anti-abortion groups such as the Susan B. Anthony List have welcomed the news. "If Roe is indeed overturned, our job will be to build consensus for the strongest protections possible for unborn children," it said. The leaked document - labelled "1st Draft" - appears to reflect the majority opinion of the court, and Politico reports that it was written by Justice Samuel Alito and circulated within the court on 10 February. But it is unclear if it represents a final opinion, as justices have previously changed their views during the drafting process. The Supreme Court and the White House have not yet commented.

5-2-22 Killing Roe may not end this Supreme Court's erosion of 'privacy-based rights,' Politico's Gerstein says
The Supreme Court is on the verge of striking down Roe v. Wade, the 1973 ruling that recognized a constitutional right to legal abortion, according to a draft majority opinion by Justice Samuel Alito published by Politico on Monday night. The three cable news networks all covered this bombshell Monday night, with slightly different emphases. "My initial reaction is that it's stunning on so many levels," legal analyst Joan Biskupic told Anderson Cooper on CNN. Chief Justice John Roberts, "already concerned about the integrity of the court, and public opinion of the court," seemed ready to uphold Mississippi's 15-week abortion ban while not overturning Roe, she said, explaining why "it was really in the interests of no one, of the nine justices, to have it come out like this." "Obviously this is a very unusual, if not completely historically unprecedented leak" MSNBC's Rachel Maddow told Politico's Josh Gerstein, one of the two reporters who broke the story. "We are very confident in the authenticity of this draft majority opinion," Gerstein said, but "this final decision likely won't be published until the end of June, perhaps even the beginning of July," and "I can't promise you that various things may not change between now and late June." In his draft, Alito doesn't preclude a federal abortion ban, but "if we move away from abortion to other privacy-based rights such as contraception, rights like gay marriage, he does try to ring-fence this opinion and say all we're talking about is abortion — he mentions that several times," Gerstein noted. "That said, I'm old enough to know that the court many times has said, 'Don't try to apply our opinion on X to this situation Y, because it's different,' and yet it often does get applied that way." The Washington Post reported Monday morning that Republicans have been strategizing on how to enact a nationwide ban should the Supreme Court strike down Roe, Maddow noted, and "to have that paired tonight with this draft opinion saying that the Supreme Court is about to clear the way just for that means that we are on the precipice of becoming a very different country, and our daughters and granddaughters living in a very, very different world," where the state determines if they give birth or not. "If this report turns out to be true," Sean Hannity highlighted on Fox News, "abortion will now be regulated at the state level, meaning it is not going to be illegal, probably, in most states in the United States," though "there'll be various restrictions."

5-2-22 Supreme Court is about to overturn Roe v. Wade, according to leaked draft opinion published by Politico
Politico has obtained an initial draft opinion written by Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito that would strike down Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 decision that guarantees a federal constitutional right to abortion. In the 98-page draft, labeled as the "Opinion of the Court," Alito writes that "Roe was egregiously wrong from the start," adding that it and the 1992 decision Planned Parenthood v. Casey "must be overruled. It is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people's elected representatives." Alito professes not to "question the motives" of people who support or oppose laws restricting abortion, and writes that "women are not without electoral or political power. The percentage of women who register to vote and cast ballots is consistently higher than the percentage of men who do so." Politico's Josh Gerstein and Alexander Ward said the draft, which was written in February, has been authenticated, and noted that "no draft decision in the history of the court has been disclosed publicly while a case was still pending." This is an "unprecedented revelation" that is "bound to intensify the debate over what was already the most controversial case on the docket this term," they added. The Supreme Court heard arguments in December for Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization, which deals with the constitutionality of the 2018 Mississippi state law banning abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy. A person familiar with the matter told Politico that in internal deliberations on the case, Alito and four other conservative justices — Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett — voted to overturn Roe. The three liberal justices — Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan — will dissent, Politico's source said, and it's unclear how Chief Justice John Roberts will vote. Even as draft opinions are circulated, justices can change their votes. Recent polling shows that most Americans oppose overturning Roe v. Wade. A Supreme Court spokesperson declined Politico's request for comment. In 1992, Justices Sandra Day O'Connor, Anthony Kennedy, and David Souter wrote in the main opinion for Casey that the Supreme Court would pay "a terrible price" for overruling Roe. "While it has engendered disapproval, it has not been unworkable," they wrote. "An entire generation has come of age free to assume Roe's concept of liberty in defining the capacity of women to act in society, and to make reproductive decisions; no erosion of principle going to liberty or personal autonomy has left Roe's central holding a doctrinal remnant."

5-2-22 Killing Roe may not end this Supreme Court's erosion of 'privacy-based rights,' Politico's Gerstein says
The Supreme Court is on the verge of striking down Roe v. Wade, the 1973 ruling that recognized a constitutional right to legal abortion, according to a draft majority opinion by Justice Samuel Alito published by Politico on Monday night. The three cable news networks all covered this bombshell Monday night, with slightly different emphases. "My initial reaction is that it's stunning on so many levels," legal analyst Joan Biskupic told Anderson Cooper on CNN. Chief Justice John Roberts, "already concerned about the integrity of the court, and public opinion of the court," seemed ready to uphold Mississippi's 15-week abortion ban while not overturning Roe, she said, explaining why "it was really in the interests of no one, of the nine justices, to have it come out like this." "Obviously this is a very unusual, if not completely historically unprecedented leak" MSNBC's Rachel Maddow told Politico's Josh Gerstein, one of the two reporters who broke the story. "We are very confident in the authenticity of this draft majority opinion," Gerstein said, but "this final decision likely won't be published until the end of June, perhaps even the beginning of July," and "I can't promise you that various things may not change between now and late June." In his draft, Alito doesn't preclude a federal abortion ban, but "if we move away from abortion to other privacy-based rights such as contraception, rights like gay marriage, he does try to ring-fence this opinion and say all we're talking about is abortion — he mentions that several times," Gerstein noted. "That said, I'm old enough to know that the court many times has said, 'Don't try to apply our opinion on X to this situation Y, because it's different,' and yet it often does get applied that way." The Washington Post reported Monday morning that Republicans have been strategizing on how to enact a nationwide ban should the Supreme Court strike down Roe, Maddow noted, and "to have that paired tonight with this draft opinion saying that the Supreme Court is about to clear the way just for that means that we are on the precipice of becoming a very different country, and our daughters and granddaughters living in a very, very different world," where the state determines if they give birth or not. "If this report turns out to be true," Sean Hannity highlighted on Fox News, "abortion will now be regulated at the state level, meaning it is not going to be illegal, probably, in most states in the United States," though "there'll be various restrictions."

4-28-22 Oklahoma Legislature passes 6-week abortion ban
The Oklahoma Legislature on Thursday gave final approval to Senate Bill 1503, which bans abortions after roughly 6 weeks of pregnancy and allows citizens to file civil lawsuits against anyone who performs or knowingly aids in an abortion. The strict measure is modeled after Texas' abortion law, and is one of several restrictive bills passed in Oklahoma this month. Gov. Kevin Stitt (R) has promised to sign any anti-abortion bill that comes to his desk. Senate Bill 1503 prohibits abortions once early cardiac activity is detected in an embryo or fetus, which is typically around six weeks into a pregnancy. This bill does make exceptions for medical emergencies. Planned Parenthood and the Tulsa Women's Reproductive Clinic have filed separate challenges to Senate Bill 1503 and Senate Bill 612, a near-total abortion ban Stitt signed this month. "Oklahoma is a critical state for abortion access right now, with many Texans fleeing to Oklahoma for abortion care," Nancy Northrup, president of the Center for Reproductive Rights, said in a statement. "These bans would further decimate abortion access across the south."

4-14-22 Republican state lawmakers override Kentucky governor's veto of broad abortion bill
In Kentucky, the state's Republican-led General Assembly voted on Wednesday to override Gov. Andy Beshear's (D) veto of House Bill 3, a restrictive measure that opponents say essentially ends abortion access. House Bill 3 makes it illegal to mail abortion pills; raises standards for minors seeking abortions; requires the state to build a public database that publishes the names and addresses of physicians who perform abortions; and creates a broad certification and monitoring system to keep track of abortions and the doctors who perform them. The Lexington Herald Leader notes that the bill does not make abortion illegal, but "sets up an extensive certification, monitoring, and complaint database that the Kentucky Board of Pharmacy and Cabinet for Health and Family Services says it lacks the resources and staff to manage." The bill also requires aborted fetuses be cremated or buried, and opponents say that, coupled with the certification process, puts undue cost burdens on abortion providers. When he vetoed the bill, Beshear said it was in part because of how expensive it is; the measure does not include any additional funds to support the new requirements. Before the vote, protesters stood outside the state Capitol and chanted, "Bans off our bodies!" Several Democratic lawmakers tried to appeal to their colleagues not to overturn the veto, including state Rep. Rachel Roberts (D), who shared earlier that she was raped at 14. "I urge you to consider the ramifications of this bill," she said. "I urge you to allow this veto. Think of me as a 14-year-old rape victim." State Sen. Karen Berg (D) declared, "It takes an amazing amount of audacity to assume you know that you can make this decision for every woman and female child in this state. I beg my colleagues to think about what they are doing." State Sen. Stephen Meredith (R) was unmoved, and called the legalization of abortion in the United States "a stain on our country" and "our greatest sin. If a mother can kill her own child, what prevents us from killing ourselves and one another?" The state Senate ultimately voted 31-6 to override Beshear's veto, and because of an emergency clause, it takes effect immediately. Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky both announced they plan to sue Kentucky's attorney general and Cabinet for Health and Family Services to stop the measure. Read more at the Lexington Herald Leader.

4-12-22 Oklahoma governor to sign bill making abortion an felony
Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt (R) plans to sign into law a bill criminalizing abortion at a signing ceremony Tuesday, The Washington Post reports. The bill, which passed the Oklahoma Senate last year and the House earlier this month, bans abortion at any stage of pregnancy. Anyone who performs an abortion could face up to 10 years in prison or a fine of up to $100,000. The legislation does not make exceptions for rape or incest but does allow abortion "to save the life of a pregnant woman in a medical emergency." It also explicitly does not "authorize the charging or conviction of a woman with any criminal offense in the death of her own unborn child." According to the Post, Stitt is expected to sign the bill Tuesday at a ceremony attended by lawmakers, faith leaders, and representatives of pro-life organizations. The ban will take effect on Aug. 26, unless blocked by the courts. Under the Roe v. Wade precedent, any law banning abortion before the point of fetal viability is considered unconstitutional. "The bill's future," the Post explains, "will probably hinge on a Supreme Court decision expected this summer, when the justices will rule on Mississippi's 15-week abortion ban in a case that could overturn or significantly roll back Roe."

4-6-22 Oklahoma lawmakers pass near-total ban on abortion
Lawmakers in Oklahoma have passed a bill that would impose a near-total ban on abortions in the state. The bill would criminalise performing an abortion in almost all cases, except where it could "save the life of a pregnant woman in a medical emergency". Medical professionals convicted under the laws face fines of up to $100,000 (£76,505) and 10 years in prison. It comes as the US Supreme Court weighs a case that could overturn abortion rights across the US later this year. Oklahoma's House of Representatives, in which Republicans hold a supermajority, voted to send the bill to the governor's office by 70 votes to 14. The state's Governor Kevin Stitt will be presented with the bill for his approval. The Republican has already committed to signing into law any legislation that restricts abortion rights. Republican Rep Jim Olsen, who authored the bill, said he was "thrilled" by its passage and said the legislation could see "many lives of babies saved". But pro-choice groups say the bill is a devastating blow for women, noting it comes after the state became a major destination for women from neighbouring Texas seeking abortions after the passage of extremely restrictive laws in the state last year. "Nearly half of the patients Oklahoma providers are currently seeing are medical refugees from Texas," a coalition of pro-choice groups said. "Now, Oklahomans could face a future where they would have no place left in their state to go to seek this basic health care." Tamya Cox-Toure, director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Oklahoma, said in a statement the bill serves as an "alarming reminder that the days of access to safe and legal abortion may be numbered, and we must continue to fight to guarantee all people have access to the essential health care they need, including abortion". Republican dominated legislatures have been passing a series of restrictive abortion measures in recent years, designed to set up a showdown in the conservative-leaning Supreme Court.

4-5-22 Oklahoma lawmakers pass near total-ban on abortion
The Oklahoma House passed a bill on Tuesday that would make it a felony to perform an abortion in the state "except to save the life of a pregnant woman in a medical emergency," punishable by up to 10 years in prison. The measure, Senate Bill 612, passed with a vote of 70 to 14. Last year, the bill was approved by the Oklahoma Senate, and it now heads to the desk of Gov. Kevin Stitt (R). Stitt has called himself "the most pro-life (pro-evil) governor in the country," and said he made a promise to Oklahomans that he would "sign every piece of pro-life legislation that came across my desk." Should he sign the bill as expected, and the courts uphold it, the ban will go into effect on Aug. 26, The New York Times reports. Since Texas enacted its law banning abortion once any cardiac activity is detected, women there have been traveling out of state to have the procedure done, with many coming to Oklahoma because of its close proximity. Planned Parenthood operates two of Oklahoma's four abortion clinics, and intends to challenge the legislation in court. "This ban is more in line with the traditional bans that have been blocked in the past," Emily Wales, interim president of CEO of Planned Parenthood Great Plains, told the Times. "So we are fairly confident that, as long as Roe remains the law of the land, there is a path to blocking this."

4-5-22 Colorado governor signs law guaranteeing right to abortion in the state
Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) signed into law on Monday a bill that affirms abortion rights in the state, saying, "Colorado has been, is, and will be a pro-choice state." This comes in the wake of several other states limiting access to abortions; last year, Texas enacted a law that bans abortions once any cardiac activity is detected, which typically occurs about six weeks into a pregnancy, and in late March, Idaho passed its own abortion ban modeled on Texas'. Polis called these actions "an enormous government overreach" and "an enormous government infringement" on individual rights, adding, "No matter what the Supreme Court does in the future, people in Colorado will be able to choose when and if they have children." Colorado's Reproductive Health Equity Act guarantees access to reproductive health care before and after pregnancy; declares that fertilized eggs, embryos, and fetuses have no independent rights; and prohibits local governments from enacting their own abortion restrictions, The Associated Press reports. In 1967, Colorado was the first state to decriminalize abortion in most cases, but until now there was no state law guaranteeing access to the procedure.

4-4-22 Texas abortion: The ‘ranch’ for mothers with no place to go
Texas has passed one the strictest abortion laws in the US, banning the procedure after around six weeks' gestation. That has left many women looking for options. It was shortly after the birth of her second child, when Dallas-based Aubrey Schlackman had an epiphany. "We'd been to the grocery store and were driving home. And I passed a big ranch for sale, and I just suddenly had the idea," she says. She wanted to open a place that could provide accommodation and support for single mothers facing an unforeseen pregnancy. "I feel like wide-open spaces give a natural space for healing and contemplation. And I think God uses nature as a way to heal," she says. Aubrey and her husband Bryan had been working with Christian ministry programmes taking care of pregnant women. "A lot of them were first-time moms," Bryan says. "And then we discovered there were lots of situations where a mother with existing children who got unexpectedly pregnant did not have many places to go." So the Schlackmans founded a non-profit, Blue Haven Ranch. Although it does not yet exist as the ranch Aubrey envisages, the charity is currently supporting five single mothers who are either pregnant or who have recently given birth, providing cash to rent an apartment, and help towards utility bills. Eventually, the couple hope to purchase 100 acres of Texas farmland to build Blue Haven Ranch from scratch: cottages for 20 single mothers and their children, a community hub where families can cook and eat together, fields for animals and land for vegetable cultivation. The Schlackmans estimate it will cost around $15 million (£11m), and their fundraising efforts are going well, buoyed perhaps by the passing of the Heartbeat Act, also known as SB8 - Senate Bill 8 - last September.

4-2-22 More Americans than not back idea of 15-week abortion ban, WSJ poll finds
More Americans than not are in favor of a 15-week abortion ban, a new Wall Street Journal poll reveals. Such a ban out of Mississippi is currently under review at the U.S. Supreme Court, threatening the landmark abortion ruling Roe v. Wade, which safeguards the right to abortion until the point of fetal viability (generally about 22 to 24 weeks). The Journal's survey did, however, find that "a majority of voters say abortion should be legal in all or most cases, underscoring the complicated views many Americans hold on the issue," the Journal writes. As for the 15-week ban, 31 percent of voters said they strongly support such a rule, and 17 percent said they were somewhat supportive. Meanwhile, 34 percent said they strongly opposed a 15-week ban, and 10 percent remained somewhat opposed. At the same time, 55 percent of voters said they wanted abortion to be legal in all or most cases, "while 30 percent said it should be illegal except in cases involving rape, incest or when the life of the mother is in danger." Eleven percent think the procedure should be illegal in any circumstance. "There are going to be hardened people on both ends," Republican pollster Tony Fabrizio told the Journal of the abortion debate. "But most people are somewhere in between and a lot of people pick and choose." For reference, a previous Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report estimated that roughly 95 percent of U.S. abortions in 2019 occurred by 15 weeks, the Journal notes. The Mississippi court challenge arrives as the abortion landscape transforms nationwide. Arizona and Florida have moved to implement their own 15-week bans, and Texas last year passed a restrictive six-week law. Idaho recently followed Texas' lead. The Journal surveyed 1,500 voters from March 2-7. Results have a margin of error of 2.5 percentage points. See more results at The Wall Street Journal.

4-1-22 Police find five foetuses at the home of US anti-abortion activist
Five foetuses have been discovered in a US home reportedly belonging to an anti-abortion activist, police say. Lauren Handy, 28, is a leader of the Progressive Anti-Abortion Uprising (PAAU) group and describes herself as a "Catholic anarchist". Police said they were investigating a "potential bio-hazard material" when the foetuses were found. Ms Handy was separately indicted on Wednesday for forcing entry into an abortion clinic in 2020. She was photographed outside the Washington DC address on Wednesday as investigators removed items from the basement in bags and coolers. She told local news outlet WUSA9 that "people would freak out when they heard" what was inside the containers being seized. Local police said they could not confirm if the home where the foetuses were found was in fact Ms Handy's. However, two law enforcement officials told the Washington Post that the house was where Ms Handy was arrested and had lived or stayed. "There doesn't seem to be anything criminal in nature about that except for how they got into this house," Ashan Benedict, executive assistant Washington DC police chief, said at a news conference. Ms Handy recently claimed to have "gained access" to a foetal tissue and organ bank at the University of Washington in Seattle, but the university said nothing was taken. According to a separate federal indictment issued on Thursday, Ms Handy made an appointment at an abortion provider, the Washington Surgi-Clinic in DC, for 22 October 2020 under the name Hazel Jenkins, saying she wanted an abortion. But upon her arrival, a group "forcefully entered the clinic", the indictment says, knocking over a clinic employee who injured her ankle. Under that indictment, Ms Handy and eight other members of the group are charged with conspiring to injure, oppress, threaten and intimidate patients and employees, in violation of their federal rights to seek and provide reproductive health services.

3-24-22 Arizona joins Mississippi, Florida in passing 15-week abortion ban
The Arizona House on Thursday voted to outlaw abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy, bringing it in line with a growing number of Republican-led states passing "aggressive" anti-abortion measures, The Associated Press reports. The state Senate had already passed the bill, which closely resembles the Mississippi law currently being considered by the Supreme Court. It will now make its way to Gov. Doug Ducey (R), "an abortion opponent who has signed every piece of anti-abortion legislation that has reached his desk since he took office in 2015," AP notes. Many Republican-led states have recently moved to curb abortion rights. For example, Texas last year enacted its own incredibly strict abortion ban outlawing the procedure after just six weeks of pregnancy and deputizing private citizens to report those in violation. And earlier this month, the Florida legislature also passed a 15-week abortion ban, which Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) is expected to sign. Additionally, Idaho Gov. Brad Little (R) on Wednesday signed into law a bill mirroring Texas', while another measure modeled after the Lone Star State's makes its way through the Oklahoma legislature, Axios reports. The Arizona bill contains no exceptions for rape, incest, or medical emergency. The state also already has "some of the nation's most restrictive abortion laws, including one that would automatically outlaw it if the high court fully overturns [Roe v. Wade]," AP writes.

3-23-22 Why the Ketanji Brown Jackson hearings are really all about Roe v. Wade
The confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson got to the point on Tuesday. President Biden's pick was asked for her thoughts on Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that legalized abortion throughout the United States, and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, the 1992 ruling that upheld its core with some modifications. Jackson cleverly invoked two of former President Donald Trump's appointees to the high court, justices Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett, in telling the Senate Judiciary Committee that she agreed with them "Roe and Casey are the settled law of the Supreme Court concerning the right to terminate a woman's pregnancy." It's an evasion, to be sure, but one that lets liberal Supreme Court nominees be a little more honest than their conservative counterparts about how they would vote on abortion if confirmed. Biden pledged during the 2020 campaign to nominate a justice who would defend abortion rights. Most voters who care deeply about the Supreme Court on both sides view it chiefly as a social issues super legislature. They expect their senators to vote, and their president to select, accordingly. The most important and enduring of those social issues is abortion, which remains as polarizing as when the justices first tried to "settle" it almost 50 years ago. Since the defeat of Robert Bork's nomination in 1987 and subsequent close votes in favor of justices Clarence Thomas and Kavanaugh, Democrats have sought to keep anti-Roe justices off the court. Republican presidents have been less consistent on this issue than Democratic chief executives, leaving the court perennially at least one vote short of overturning Roe. The last time the liberal abortion precedent was seriously challenged, four of the five votes to uphold it came from Republican appointees (as well as three of the four votes against Casey). One of President Ronald Reagan's picks, Justice Anthony Kennedy, wrote the opinion. Every controversy about the personal character or judicial philosophy of the nominees has, to some extent, been related to abortion for decades. Paradoxically, Jackson may be confirmed to a court that gets out of the abortion policymaking business, however temporarily, with a decision this summer sending the issue back to the states. Her confirmation wouldn't alter the 6-3 conservative majority. If Roe survives again, expect it to remain the subtext of each round of grilling the next Supreme Court prospect receives.

3-19-22 Missouri considers Texas-style law to stop out-of-state abortions
Missouri's state legislature is considering a proposal that would empower private citizens to sue anyone who helps a Missouri woman obtain an abortion, even if the abortion takes place in another state, Politico reported Saturday. "If a Missouri resident is hurt, even in Illinois, by a product that they bought in Illinois, there is still jurisdiction for them to sue in a Missouri court because that's home for them ... this is extending that same kind of thought to abortion jurisprudence," state Rep. Mary Elizabeth Coleman, who is pushing the policy in the form of amendments to health bills, told Politico. The Texas Heartbeat Act, which allows private citizens to sue anyone who "aids or abets" a woman in obtaining an abortion, uses a similar enforcement mechanism but does not apply to out-of-state abortions. In December, Joel Mathis argued at The Week that the Texas law has been craftily designed to avoid federal judicial review but that the Supreme Court is likely to overturn Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey soon, removing the need for the Texas "workaround." Twelve states have "trigger bans" on the books that will ban abortion if the court overturns or guts these precedents, according to The New York Times. Meanwhile, blue states have also been scrambling to enshrine abortion access in state law while pro-choice activists work to establish an "Underground Railroad" to help women from states that restrict abortion terminate their pregnancies at out-of-state clinics, NBC News reported. Even if a Supreme Court ruling renders Texas-style bans obsolete within red states, Coleman's proposal signals that they could still have a role to play in preventing women from obtaining abortions across state lines. Politico notes that legal experts say the battle over interstate abortion access could raise legal issues that have lain dormant since the Fugitive Slave Act helped trigger the Civil War.

3-12-22 Texas Supreme Court rejects challenge to abortion ban
The all-Republican Texas Supreme Court rejected a challenge to the state's Heartbeat Act, which bans abortion after about six weeks of pregnancy, on Friday, The New York Times reported. Steve Vladeck, a law professor at the University of Texas, wrote on Twitter that the court's decision "closes the last back door" against legal challenges to the law by abortion providers. Per the Times, the Heartbeat Act was designed to escape judicial review in federal courts, as abortion bans before the point of fetal viability — around 23 weeks — are considered unconstitutional under Roe v. Wade (1973). The Texas law empowers private citizens to sue anyone who "aids or abets" a woman in obtaining an abortion. Therefore, the Texas Supreme Court ruled, government and medical licensing officials cannot be sued over the law because they play no role in enforcing it. Commentators across the political spectrum have expressed concerns about the enforcement mechanism. Hannah Cox of the right-libertarian Foundation for Economic Education tweeted that the same legal workaround could be used to threaten "gun rights across the country & any number of other civil liberties." Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, however, tweeted that the court's decision is a "major victory" and that the law "has saved thousands of unborn babies." A New York Times analysis published Sunday suggested that, even after factoring in out-of-state abortions and abortion pills delivered by mail, the number of abortions among Texas women has likely fallen by about 10 percent since the law took effect in September. Michael New, a business professor at the Catholic University of America, suggested in National Review that the drop could be more drastic because the studies cited by the Times assumed every woman who obtained abortion pills carried out an abortion. "Some women," he argued, "might have simply wanted to have abortion pills available in the event of a future unplanned pregnancy."

3-4-22 Florida Senate passes GOP bill banning abortion after 15 weeks, sending it to governor
With a vote of 23-15, Florida's Republican-controlled Senate passed a bill on Thursday night that prohibits women from getting abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy, with no exceptions for victims of rape, incest, or human trafficking. The state's present law restricts abortions after 24 weeks. The bill, H.B. 5, passed two weeks after the Florida House approved an identical measure. Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) has indicated he will sign the bill. It is expected to take effect July 1. Florida Senate Democratic Leader Lauren Book tearfully spoke to her colleagues about being drugged and gang raped when she was a teenager, and called on Republicans to add exemptions for victims of rape, incest, and human trafficking, Politico reports. After the vote, Book said those who support reproductive rights will continue their work, adding, "We may not win this battle, but the women of Florida are not done with this fight. This is the beginning, not the end." With this measure, which follows Mississippi's abortion law, Florida becomes the latest state to erode protections granted under Roe v Wade. Mississippi's law has made its way to the Supreme Court, and a decision is expected over the summer.

2-22-22 Colombia decriminalises abortion in first 24 weeks
Colombia's constitutional court has decriminalised abortions within the first 24 weeks of pregnancy. Under the new rules, no one will be prosecuted for having an abortion within that time frame. Since 2006, abortions have been allowed in Colombia in cases of rape, when the woman's life is at risk, or if the pregnancy is not viable. The ruling was welcomed by pro-choice groups, who called it "a historic achievement". But Archbishop José Luis Rueda said the Catholic Church would "continue to proclaim, defend and promote human life from gestation until natural death". Pro-choice activists say it is the latest in a series of victories in recent years, including a similar ruling by Mexico's Supreme Court in September and the legalisation of abortion up to the 14th week in Argentina. The ruling came about as a result of a lawsuit filed by the umbrella group Causa Justa (Just Cause) whose aim is to have abortion removed from the penal code. Causa Justa argued that because abortions were defined as a crime outside of the three cases allowed under the 2006 ruling, doctors who performed abortions and their patients were often stigmatised. The group estimates that 90% of abortions in Colombia are carried out clandestinely, putting the health and life of women at risk. While Monday's decision has not removed abortion from Colombia's penal code entirely, it is seen as a victory in the battle to widen access to the procedure. Following its 5-4 ruling, the court urged the Congress and the government to come up with legislation which will protect the rights of pregnant women, including providing family planning services, eliminating obstacles to abortion care and helping with adoptions.

2-18-22 People opposed to abortion in the US would still help a friend get one
A survey of more than 1500 people in the US found that people who are morally opposed to abortion would help a close friend or family member seeking the procedure. People in the US who are morally opposed to abortion would help a close friend or family member terminate a pregnancy if they were asked for help, according to a nationally representative survey. Sarah Cowan at New York University and her colleagues analysed data from the General Social Survey, which asks questions about social issues, to determine how someone’s views on abortion affect how they would treat a friend or family member who asked for help with the procedure. The data was collected in 2018 and included answers from 1574 respondents. Abortion is a divisive issue in the US. According to a Gallup poll from 2021, 49 per cent of adults in the US identify themselves as “pro-choice” and 47 per cent identify themselves as “pro-life”. “Some people claim abortion is central to freedom and autonomy, and others that it’s murder,” says Cowan. “All of this made for rich terrain for examination.” She says that it is common for people seeking an abortion to ask for help, whether that be emotional, financial or logistical. A first trimester abortion in the US costs an average of about $500, according to the Guttmacher Institute, and can cost more than double that later in a pregnancy. Close to 60 per cent of those who have an abortion are already mothers, so help is often required with childcare on the day of the procedure, says Cowan. The General Social Survey asked people whether they were morally opposed to abortion or not. They could also answer “it depends”. The team found that 88 per cent of respondents, whether they were morally opposed to abortion or not, were willing to provide emotional support to a close friend or family member if that person was getting an abortion.

1-22-22 Gen Z marchers praying for an end to US abortion
Young anti-abortion activists have flooded the streets of Washington DC, optimistic that their movement's long-cherished goal may be within reach. The demonstrators at the 49th annual March for Life are hopeful this could be the year the landmark ruling is repealed by the Supreme Court. The huge demonstration cazme on the eve of the anniversary of Roe v Wade, the 1973 ruling that legalised abortion in the US.

1-18-22 Federal appellate court punts Texas abortion law to state Supreme Court, prolonging strict restrictions
A divided panel of the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals sided with Texas on Monday and sent a challenge to the state's privately enforced restrictive abortion law to the Texas Supreme Court, where it is expected to linger as the law stays in effect. "This decision now keeps the case in limbo — and abortion after 6 weeks in the nation's second-largest state — a dead-letter, indefinitely," University of Texas law professor Steve Vladeck wrote on Twitter. The Texas abortion clinics challenging the law had requested that their case be sent to a federal district judge in Austin who has previously blocked the law, until the conservative 5th Circuit appellate court reversed the decision less than 48 hours later. The appellate panel decided in a 2-1 decision that before the federal judge gets the case again, the Texas Supreme Court needs to determine whether state law allows the clinics to sue state licensing officials, as the U.S. Supreme Court allowed. Judge Stephen A. Higginson, a Democratic appointee, disagreed with his two GOP-appointed colleagues, arguing that the U.S. Supreme Court already decided that matter. "This further, second-guessing redundancy, without time limit, deepens my concern that justice delayed is justice denied, here impeding relief ordered by the Supreme Court," he wrote in his dissent. Judge Edith H. Jones, who wrote the panel's majority decision, said the U.S. Supreme Court gave the appellate court ample room to interpret how to carry out its ruling, and suggested in oral arguments earlier this month that perhaps the 5th Circuit court should sit on the case until the Supreme Court rules this summer in a Mississippi case that could overturn or weaken Roe v. Wade's recognized constitutional right to abortion. "Maybe we ought to just sit on this until the end of June," she said. (Webmasters Comment: The Supreme Court is now the enemy of the people!)

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Abortion Rights News Articles from 2021