What to know about US abortion measures as country marks anniversary of Roe v Wade

What to know about US abortion measures as country marks anniversary of Roe v Wade

There has been a flurry of activity in US states over abortion policy as the country marks the anniversary of the Roe v Wade.

A 2022 Supreme Court ruling overturned the nationwide right to abortion that Roe provided.

Трубочисты Петербурга

The anniversary is now giving Democrats, including President Joe Biden’s reelection campaign, a chance to rally voters around abortion access.

Abortion opponents also rallied last week in Washington with a context that’s different from past editions of the annual March for Life.

There’s no longer a nationwide right to abortion and 14 states have bans on abortion at all stages of pregnancy. But the political fallout has boosted their opponents more than them.

There were still some traditional anti-abortion rallies, including one in St. Paul, Minnesota, where an estimated 2,000 people attended, with many placing life-size models of foetuses on the steps of the state Capitol in protest of policies that protect abortion access.

Here’s what to know about several developments.

Enshrining abortion rights into state constitutions

At least a hundred people gathered on the steps of the Colorado Capitol on Monday to launch a signature campaign for a ballot measure to enshrine abortion rights in the state’s constitution. A cardboard sign read, “Someone you love has had an abortion,” as state lawmakers and the Colorado attorney general bunched around a microphone and the crowd cheered.

Colorado’s legislature passed abortion protections last year, but “if we don’t enshrine it in the constitution, we will be at the whim of lawmakers,” said Nicole Hensel, executive director of New Era Colorado, one of the coalition of groups behind the Coloradans for Protecting Reproductive Freedom campaign.

Colorado has become an island of abortion protections as surrounding states installed restrictions after Roe was overturned. The Cobalt Abortion Fund based in Colorado spent six times the amount helping people get abortions in 2023 as they did in 2021.

Advocates in Maryland also used Monday’s Roe v. Wade anniversary to begin their campaign to support the ballot measure to enshrine abortion rights in the state constitution that’s already on the ballot there for November.

The only other state where a statewide vote on abortion rights in 2024 is sure to happen is New York, where the proposed amendment includes protecting reproductive freedom.

But similar votes are under consideration in more than a dozen states.

Since 2022, abortion rights supporters have prevailed on all seven statewide ballot measures.

While some US states consider measures to protect abortion, others try to further restrict it

Lawmakers in two states scheduled hearings for Monday as the first steps to ask voters to change abortion policy. Both face uphill battles.

In Maine, Democrats are pushing for a measure that would protect reproductive autonomy in the state constitution.

Democrats control both chambers of the Legislature and the governor’s office and, under state law, abortion is allowed at any point throughout pregnancy, if it’s deemed necessary by a doctor.

But advancing a measure to voters would require the approval of two-thirds of both legislative chambers. To reach that, several Republicans would have to vote in favour of asking the public to vote.

In Wisconsin, a GOP proposal would ban abortion after 14 weeks of pregnancy.

Republicans control the legislature there, but Gov. Tony Evers, a Democrat, would likely veto the measure if it passed.

Currently, abortion is available in Wisconsin until fetal viability, but there’s litigation over whether an 1849 law that conservatives interpreted as banning abortion should apply.

Activists in Missouri choose amendments to support

A coalition of abortion rights supporters in Missouri decided last week which of 11 amendment proposals to support.

They went with one that would allow lawmakers to restrict abortion access only after viability — generally considered to be around 23 or 24 weeks gestation age — when a foetus might survive outside the uterus.

The decision from groups including the state ACLU chapter and Planned Parenthood chapters is one solution to a debate advocates have been having on whether to support measures that allow some abortion restrictions.

The Missouri measure would allow abortion later in pregnancy to protect the life and physical and mental health of the woman.

Some moderate Republicans are pushing a competing amendment, which would allow abortion up to 12 weeks in most cases, and between then and viability only in pregnancies resulting from rape or incest or in medical emergencies.

Under Missouri law, abortion is banned at all stages of pregnancy, with an exception to protect the life of the woman — but not in cases of rape or incest.

US government sides with Oklahoma hospital

In a decision made in October but not revealed publicly until last week, the US Department of Health and Human Services found that an Oklahoma hospital did not violate federal law when doctors told a woman with a nonviable pregnancy to wait in a parking lot until her condition declined enough for her to qualify for an abortion under the state’s strict ban.

The ruling was the latest in what’s emerged as a major legal question as most Republican-controlled states have imposed abortion bans: When do exceptions apply?

In other situations, the same federal agency has maintained that hospitals would violate federal law by turning away women seeking an abortion amid medical emergencies.

Pending lawsuits from women who assert they were wrongly denied an abortion address the issue.

Even as the Biden administration ruled in favour of the hospital in the Oklahoma case, it’s planning to help people file complaints under the law that’s intended to ensure emergency healthcare access.


Нажмите, чтобы оценить статью!
[Итого: 0 Среднее значение: 0]

Показать больше

Добавить комментарий

Ваш адрес email не будет опубликован. Обязательные поля помечены *

Add your own review


Кнопка «Наверх»