Abortion Information


Less than four months after helping keep Louisiana abortion clinics open, John Roberts could be the reason clinics in Kentucky are forced to close.

Chief Justice John Roberts has also signaled that he is eager to take another long hard look at Planned Parenthood v. Casey, if only someone—anyone—would tee up the right case.
 Samuel Corum/Getty Images

The time for celebrating the Supreme Court’s ruling in June Medical Services v. Russo is over, and you have embattled Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron to thank for it.

In late June, when the Supreme Court struck down Act 620, Louisiana’s law forcing abortion providers to get admitting privileges at a local hospital, abortion rights advocates celebrated the win. It was a victory for abortion rights in Louisiana, since access wouldn’t be further decimated. And it was a victory for the providers who had tried—and failed—to get admitting privileges at hospitals that were either outright hostile to abortion or saw no point in granting privileges to doctors who rarely admit patients with complications. (That’s because abortion is wildly safe!)

But advocates knew that the celebration would be short-lived. Yes, John Roberts had voted with the liberals on the Court and, in doing so, had saved Louisiana’s remaining abortion clinics. But he did so with a wink and a nod to anti-choice advocates.

Well, the other shoe has dropped.

It’s barely four months later and Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron, along with a couple of Trump judges from the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, wants you to know that laws almost identical to the ones the Supreme Court just struck down in Louisiana are still on the table.

Let me explain how.

June Medical Services was a case about a Louisiana TRAP law. Generally, TRAP laws—that stands for targeted regulation of abortion providers—are designed to shut down clinics. In June Medical Services, the TRAP law required abortion providers in Louisiana to maintain admitting privileges at a local hospital. That TRAP law was modeled on an identical law in Texas, and lawmakers in both states gleefully—and publicly—admitted that their clinic shutdown laws were meant to do just that—shut down clinics.

But what if there was a TRAP law that wasn’t a clinic shutdown law? What if instead of shutting down clinics, the law kept them in a perpetual state of licensing limbo?

Enter Kentucky, which was able to sneak its clinic shutdown law past a three-judge panel of the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, thanks to an argument that Cameron crafted after he intervened (legalese for “pushed his way into”) the case. The two judges who sided with Cameron are, unsurprisingly, Trump judges.

Cameron—who has somehow managed to avoid a national scandal after reportedly lying about the investigation into Breonna Taylor’s murder—asked the court if he could intervene because, although the state legislature is controlled by Republicans, Kentucky’s governor, Andy Beshear, is a Democrat and has demonstrated he’s not going to waste Kentucky taxpayer money defending bullshit abortion restrictions.

Cameron has no such reservations.Kentucky’s law requiring abortion clinics to have a transfer agreement in order to maintain their license has a loophole that allows officials in the state to slowly lower the sword of Damocles over clinics’ heads without ever truly dropping it.

In documents filed with the Sixth Circuit, Cameron argued that Kentucky’s transfer agreement law was different than the laws in Louisiana and Texas. It’s a cynical, and quite frankly, ridiculous, interpretation of a law that amounts to little more than harassment of Kentucky abortion providers.

Under Kentucky law, abortion providers must have a transfer agreement with a local hospital in the same county or within a 20-minute drive of the clinic. (A transfer agreement is for all intents and purposes the same as an admitting privileges agreement. It means a clinic has an arrangement with a hospital to transfer patients suffering complications from abortion to a specific hospital—even though very few patients suffer abortion complications, and paramedics will take the ones who do to whatever hospital is closest.)

“But wait! I thought the Supreme Court has already decided that admitting privileges laws serve no medical benefit?” you may be asking.

You’re right. In 2016’s Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, Stephen Breyer, writing for the majority of the Court, said that admitting privileges laws are nonsense. (The technical term for nonsense in this context is an “undue burden” on the right to an abortion under Planned Parenthood v. Casey, but nonsense is what it is.)

Breyer took a look at the benefits that Texas claimed the law would have for pregnant people and weighted them against the burdens the law would impose. (That’s what the undue burden test in Planned Parenthood v. Casey requires.) After that calculus, Breyer determined that the law was an undue burden. After all, it would have closed most clinics in the state.

In June Medical Services, Breyer deployed that same logic. The law in Louisiana, like in Texas, would have shut down nearly every clinic in Louisiana.

But in his concurring opinion in June Medical Services, Roberts donned his monocle and top hat and huffed “But what did the Casey Court really say?” before explaining that the undue burden analysis in Casey doesn’t require the weighing of benefits and burdens that the majority in Whole Woman’s Health said was necessary. In Roberts’ view, Casey asks one question: “Is this law a substantial obstacle?”

He was content to answer in the affirmative when it came to Louisiana’s law because it was a clinic shutdown law. But what if a state passed an admitting privileges law that didn’t shut down clinics? That just made it an absurd pain in the ass for abortion clinics to stay in business?

That is what’s happening in Kentucky. Kentucky’s law requiring abortion clinics to have a transfer agreement in order to maintain their license has a loophole that allows officials in the state to slowly lower the sword of Damocles over clinics’ heads without ever truly dropping it; officials can extend a waiver to a clinic having difficulty securing a transfer agreement if the officials feel like it. It’s at their discretion. The waiver permits the clinic to continue operating for 90 days.

And considering that the clinics in Kentucky haven’t had much success in obtaining these agreements, the law essentially forces these clinics to apply for a waiver of the transfer agreement requirement every 90 days while unceasingly trying to convince a hospital to enter into a transfer agreement. Because if officials in Kentucky get the sense that clinics just aren’t trying hard enough, then they can refuse to extend the waiver.

It’s a bonkers system.

But that’s the abortion landscape for the foreseeable future, thanks to the giant Casey time bomb John Roberts left ticking in June Medical Services v. Russo. If, as Roberts believes, the only relevant question is whether a law is a substantial obstacle to abortion, then as long as a law leaves the possibility of a clinic remaining open—by offering discretionary waivers from it’s requirement—then it may not be an undue burden. It doesn’t matter if that clinic has the Sisyphean task of spending countless hours trying to comply with laws that it will likely never be able to comply with.

Roberts has signaled loud and clear that he is OK with this system. He has also signaled that he is eager to take another long hard look at Planned Parenthood v. Casey, if only someone—anyone—would tee up the right case.

Source: https://rewirenewsgroup.com/ablc/2020/10/20/chief-justice-john-roberts-abortion-time-bomb-goes-off-in-kentucky/?fbclid=IwAR2dYHgMdD0M_S4CGFDBu-5O-wHUcKFgKyNHozZKeAapzNE8_7Ut_TWpVSw

Abortion is a heated debated in the U.S. But the policy debates and political talking points can overshadow the experiences of real people.

As the Supreme Court confirmation hearings for Judge Amy Coney Barrett approach, abortion issues have been thrown into the spotlight once again. President Donald Trump nominated Judge Barrett after the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg last month. Justice Ginsburg was a vocal advocate for women’s rights and endorsed abortion rights when questioned by the Senate Judiciary Committee at her confirmation hearing in 1993. While Judge Barrett has not signed onto an official opinion cutting back on the rights guaranteed in the landmark Roe v. Wade decision, she has disagreed with appeals courts who struck down laws that restrict abortion in her home state of Indiana.ListenListening…45:22Host Anita Rao talks with four guests about misconceptions and under-represented narratives in the abortion debate and in popular culture.

But while advocates on both sides contemplate the future of abortion laws, misconceptions and stigma around who gets abortions and why make it difficult to understand who might be affected by changes in legislation. Individual stories of patients and providers get lost in the broad-sweeping debates and laws, such as stories of those who seek abortions in the second trimester or those who terminate wanted pregnancies.

 Host Anita Rao talks with Gretchen Sisson, a research sociologist at Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health, about how television and real life diverge when it comes to abortion — and how that may influence our understanding of the issue. Dr. Rathika Nimalendran also joins the conversation to break down North Carolina’s abortion laws and misconceptions. And Rao talks with Margaret and Ruth, two women who terminated wanted pregnancies in their second trimesters for medical reasons. 

 Interview Highlights

Rathika Nimalendran on a common barrier many patients face in getting information about abortion: 
I provide primary care to patients in a rural community health center that receives federal funding. And because of federal laws, I’m actually — one, not able to provide abortions to my patients, to the patients that I see who come to me. And additionally, I’m also not even allowed to tell them where they can access an abortion or even access information about what clinics provide abortions.

Gretchen Sisson on how popular media may shape audience understanding of abortion: Because abortion is so stigmatized in real life, there’s a deficit of real abortion stories to contextualize what we think we know about abortion. So everybody knows someone who’s had an abortion, they just don’t necessarily know that they know someone who’s had an abortion because it’s so secretive. And in that way, fictional stories can be really powerful examples.

Margaret on having the right to make her own decision about her termination: If someone else in my shoes were to make a different decision, then I’m great with that. I’m fine with that. I support them. But I don’t think that these other people should get to choose for me. I don’t think that they should get to make this decision for me and my family.

Ruth on her termination being deemed “elective” by her insurance: We were told that our child was incompatible with life. That’s a diagnosis that no parent or soon-to-be parent ever wants to hear. But to complicate things further, to then go through a termination and receive a bill from your insurer for — what I received was a $42,000 bill — for a procedure that they deemed quote unquote, elective. After a doctor told me that … this was a baby that was incompatible with life. … How can I be billed for this as though I were having plastic surgery? As if it were something that I walked in and planned and wanted? 

Source: https://www.wunc.org/post/whose-story-gets-told-abortion-debates?fbclid=IwAR1ZEBc-9pVTzYxu5zUXB_T_1H2aXIgB7Dqq0LNrQJQ3NYIxdgZRi5eer6I

Protesters rally in Washington, D.C., during the latest Women’s March.
Carol Guzy for NPR

Thousands of people gathered Saturday in Washington, D.C., and in hundreds of cities across the country for the fifth Women’s March.

The latest iteration of the protest event — first held the day after President Trump’s 2017 inauguration — comes 17 days before Election Day and as Republican senators move to quickly confirm the president’s third Supreme Court nominee, Judge Amy Coney Barrett.

Isabella De Luca, a Trump supporter from New York has a bloodied mouth after a scuffle at the Women’s March in Washington D.C.Carol Guzy for NPR

Women dressed as handmaidens to protest Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett.⁠⠀Carol Guzy for NPR

The controversial election-year nomination was a central focus during this year’s events, motivating rallies and marches throughout the day. If confirmed, Barrett would succeed the feminist icon Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a champion of gender equality during her nearly three decades on the court.

Saturday’s tent-pole event in Washington was permitted for 10,000 attendees. Organizers said that in total, more than 400 events were planned throughout the country.

Protesters in Washington, D.C., are rallying against President Trump and the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court.Carol Guzy for NPR

Among the issues are the contentious U.S. presidential election and the nomination to U.S. Supreme Court of Judge Amy Coney Barrett.Carol Guzy for NPR

The Women's March takes place in Washington D.C.

Carol Guzy for NPR

With Election Day just over two weeks away, mobilizing women to vote was a central theme, alongside other women’s rights issues.

In D.C., Sonja Spoo, a reproductive rights activist, said, “Donald Trump is leaving office and there is no choice for him — it is our choice — and we are voting him out come Nov. 3.”

Protestors wore a variety of masks in Washington, D.C.Carol Guzy for NPR

One of the largest events planned for Saturday happened in the nation’s capital, where nearly four years ago hundreds of thousands gathered a day after Trump was sworn in.Article continues after sponsor messagehttps://48947e6eb4e426f56572843f66e66fa5.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-37/html/container.html

Though smaller than the historic 2017 crowd, women’s rights advocates came in droves.

Participants carried signs blasting President Trump and supporting Democratic opponent Joe Biden and running mate Kamala Harris.

Hundreds of people gathered on Boston Common on for the fourth Women’s March since Donald Trump took office in 2016.Meredith Nierman/WGBH

Brianna Sink of Sunapee, New Hampshire holds a sign while attending the Boston Women’s March.Meredith Nierman/WGBH

A woman wearing leggings featuring former Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg scales a fence along the Boston Common.Meredith Nierman/WGBH

Mariah Jacobsen (left) of Pemborke, Mass. and Madison Harakles (right) of Longmeadow, Mass. carry signs at the Boston Women’s March.Meredith Nierman/WGBH

Many marchers were focused on how Amy Coney Barrett and a more conservative Supreme Court could affect abortion rights.

Allison Barnabe, 26, of Ellicott City, Md., told NPR that she is worried that Roe v. Wade could be overturned and that abortion rights may be eroded.

“The fact that I am living in a country now where I am concerned, and I’ve never had to be, is a very scary thought,” Barnabe said.Enlarge this image

Allison Barnabe, at the D.C. rally, said she is worried that Roe v. Wade could be overturned and that abortion rights may be eroded.Sarah McCammon/NPR

Marches also brought crowds past the Supreme Court building. Images of the late Justice Ginsburg appeared throughout the crowd. At least one sign made reference to Ginsburg’s request that the nomination process await the results of the election.

At a rally, Fatima Goss Graves of the National Women’s Law Center called the late justice the “architect of our foundational rights” in the U.S. She also delivered a litany against Trump nominee Barrett, saying this week’s confirmation hearings left her “without a doubt” that Barrett would “undermine our rights.”

Demonstrators gather to take part in the nationwide Women’s March.Carol Guzy for NPR

A pro-life supporter argues with pro-choice advocates in Washington D.C.Carol Guzy for NPR

A demonstrator holds a sign saying Women’s Rights Are Human Rights.Carol Guzy for NPR

“She will undermine our access to reproductive health care, to abortion from voting rights to climate change. She refused to even answer basic questions,” Goss Graves told the crowd.

The Senate Judiciary Committee plans to vote on Barrett’s nomination this week, which if successful, would mean a full floor vote later this month.

Elsewhere, participants in this year’s event confronted anti-abortion-rights protesters — chanting “we have the votes” and “Roe v. Wade has got to go” — gathered at the Supreme Court building.

People participate in the Women's March in Washington DC on Oct. 17, 2020.

Carol Guzy for NPR

Outside of Washington, protesters around the country carried the same messages.

In New York, marchers took to Wall Street, chanting, “Donald Trump has got to go,” ABC News reports.

A march beginning at Philadelphia’s Independence Hall moved toward city hall during the afternoon. Protesters took the opportunity to include racial justice and transgender rights alongside abortion rights during the Philadelphia event, WHYY reports.

Hundreds also turned out in Cleveland, according to WKSU. Speaking before an event there, Ruth Gray of Cleveland’s chapter of the National Congress of Black Women similarly touched on themes of intersectionality.

“We have to address the issues in this country. The ‘isms’ in this country. The systemic racism in this country. The systemic oppression in this country,” Gray said.

Marchers also gathered in downtown Chicago and other major cities.

Sister events weren’t confined to major cities. In Geneva, Ill., a city some 40 miles west of Chicago, dozens gathered in an intersection, holding signs honoring Ginsburg, Northern Public Radio reports.

The Women's March takes place in Washington DC on Oct. 17, 2020.

Carol Guzy for NPR

Source: https://www.npr.org/2020/10/17/924921098/womens-marches-being-held-in-washington-d-c-cities-nationwide

I stood on a street corner in a city I’d never been to with five $100 bills in my pocket, while I waited to be picked up by someone I’d never met. If anything were to go wrong, I didn’t know if my body would ever be found

Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett is the capstone to Mitch McConnell’s crusade to remake the federal judiciary in his conservative image.(Getty Images)

There is not one single woman of childbearing age — not one — who remembers America before abortions were legal. As for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett, who hopes to return women to that world, she doesn’t remember it either, because she was just shy of her first birthday when Roe v. Wade was decided.

I remember that world, including my illegal abortion as a college senior in December 1965, and its aftermath. And I’m going to share what I know because what women don’t know can hurt them.

For my graduation a semester later, my parents gave me a trip to Europe. It was dusk in late August, and I was hiking across a field in Sweden when suddenly I was overcome with agonizing abdominal pain. Then it stopped.  Then it came back. That’s the way it went during the night, too. By morning, though, the pain was gone.

I couldn’t make sense of that pain, but it was another one of the odd things that had been happening to me since my abortion. 

“I need to rip the veil off,” I’d written in my diary in January 1966, meaning the veil that had come between me and myself. I was numb about what I called “the horror of December,” meaning my abortion. It was a word I couldn’t even say.

I was one month pregnant when I had my abortion, and terrifying as the whole experience was, medically it was without complication. I was anesthetized with sodium pentothal, and I was sent home with a week’s worth of antibiotics in my pocket.  No coat-hangers involved.

But to get that abortion, I first had to stand on a street corner in a New Jersey city I’d never been to with five $100 bills in my pocket, while I waited to be picked up by someone I’d never met who would take me to wherever the abortion would take place. If anything were to go wrong, I didn’t know if my body would ever be found. The day before, I’d read about a woman who’d had a botched abortion in an airport motel and was found dead behind the steering wheel of her car parked in front of her house.

And I was one of the lucky ones. I was a middle-class college student with a supportive family, a nurturing boyfriend and loyal friends — but to get what I needed, I had to step into a world which calls to mind The Handmaid’s Tale.

It is possible to know the facts of the past — from forbidden abortion to Prohibition — but it is almost impossible to fully grasp a past we haven’t ourselves lived through.  No more can we truly imagine the powerlessness women felt at not being able to vote, not because we cannot imagine being turned away from the ballot box ourselves, but because we can’t truly imagine how that fact of female powerlessness not only infused the entire public world but deeply infiltrated every woman’s most private sense of self.  It can run so deep that women may feel it but not recognize it for what it is, any more than fish know they’re in water.

I couldn’t “rip the veil off” because I was overwhelmed, not by guilt but by powerlessness. I couldn’t articulate it at the time, but I had come face-to-face with a law that shaped a world profoundly hostile to my ability to control my own body and my own future. I hadn’t noticed it because I hadn’t come into conflict with it before,  but also because it was hidden underneath the seemingly harmless (and now archaic) trivia of everyday life that helped anchor it in place — from virgin pins to jokes about “shotgun weddings.”  

The profound powerlessness I felt was intolerable enough to estrange me from both my body and my feelings.  To put it in today’s terms, in hindsight, the Supreme Court vote on Roe v. Wade a few years later was a major attack on systemic sexism. It meant “Women’s Lives Matter,” and that has made all the difference.

What makes the world we may be heading toward especially dangerous is that women may not always recognize that world, or the power of its trivia.  If what women don’t know can hurt them, what they do know can help.

I naively assumed that after my abortion, that I would bounce back. Though I continued to function, something was wrong. The numb feeling, which I eventually recognized as depression, continued. I was distracted and remote. Any noise, even the flushing of the toilet, made me jump. I lost any interest in sex. I broke up with my boyfriend. And month after month after month, I waited for my period to resume, but it didn’t. 

So the “veil” stayed on. Today we’d probably say I was traumatized.

It took me almost two years to fully get the veil off and to reconnect with all I had disconnected from. I couldn’t have done it without the physician who prescribed birth control pills to jumpstart my menstruation and helped me reconnect with my body, and the therapist who helped me reconnect with my feelings.  As for that agonizing pain that began one late August night in the middle of a Swedish field?  Have you already guessed?  The onset of the pain occurred on the date that would have been my pregnancy due date. I am not the “Woo Woo” type, but with my emotional and physical estrangement from myself, my body had developed a mind of its own.

The weakening of Roe v. Wade over the past four years has taken much away from us already. Eight states have only one abortion provider, so women are already traveling to strange cities fearing what will come next. A friend in the Midwest who helps women secure abortions says they are increasingly costly and hard to come by, especially so as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to rage. With Amy Coney Barrett on the Supreme Court, the protections of Roe v. Wade may disappear altogether. And if they do, too many women will be forced to live in a past they could not even have begun to imagine. 

Source: https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/amy-coney-barrett-abortion-scotus-roe-v-wade-illegal-b1057841.html?fbclid=IwAR09HaABXvuNXYKIeYV-ueHj8g1B9fZ5KaHzCbcidp7ED4CWCasbCl5FM7Y

Public calendars from the University of Notre Dame’s law school show at least seven additional talks not listed on Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s Senate paperwork, including one with the law school’s anti-abortion group, according to a CNN KFile review.

Barrett, whose Supreme Court confirmation hearing to succeed the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is underway, is listed as participating in the newly discovered talks from 2004 to 2013.

The calendars list her as participating in a panel on religion in the public square, a speech to a student religious society, a talk with the law school’s anti-abortion group, a roundtable on the Constitution, a faculty colloquium, a student scholarship symposium and an event sponsored by Notre Dame’s Women’s Legal Forum.

All of Barrett’s events were listed on public calendars from Notre Dame, which CNN’s KFile accessed on the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine and on Notre Dame’s website. Barrett is required to disclose to the Senate Judiciary Committee all public talks she has given in her professional career, according to a committee staffer. Similar types of events were disclosed on the paperwork she submitted.

Barrett has already faced questions over initially failing to disclose some talks she gave while a law professor at Notre Dame. CNN’s KFile reported last week that Barrett initially did not disclose two talks she gave in 2013 hosted by two anti-abortion student groups on paperwork provided to the Senate. Barrett’s initial failure to disclose those two events, and subsequent talks found by CNN’s KFile, raise questions about whether the questionnaire is a complete overview of her talks as a law professor and whether she could face any consequences from the committee.

CNN’s KFile could not independently confirm Barrett’s participation in the events, only that they were listed on Notre Dame’s public calendars. In several of the instances, only listings for the events, but not descriptions of them, were archived.Following CNN’s reporting last week, and an inquiry to the White House on a 2013 “right to life” ad she signed in a Notre Dame newspaper, Barrett sent a letter detailing the talks and the ad to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

At her hearing on Tuesday, Barrett said those initial omissions had been an oversight due to the large volume of material she had to “find and remember” over 30 years.White House spokesperson Judd Deere told CNN in an email on Wednesday that Barrett had been “nothing but transparent with the committee,” noting that she had provided 1,800 pages of materials, met with “the vast majority” of senators on the committee “and after today will have gone through nearly 20 hours of questioning by members with zero notes in front of her.

“A spokesperson for the Senate Judiciary Committee referred CNN to a press release from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s office that noted that Supreme Court nominees have routinely supplemented their questionnaires.

CNN reached out to Barrett’s chambers for comment, but they did not respond.Of the newly discovered undisclosed talks from Barrett, several of them focused on the intersection between religion and the law, a not uncommon subject for a Catholic university. In April 2004, Barrett was scheduled to give a two-hour talk called “Law and…” The description, according to the calendar, was “Liberally Clothing the Naked Public Square,” a reference to religion in the public square.In February 2005, Barrett was scheduled to speak to the religious student organization the St. Thomas More Society on her experience as a Catholic mother in the legal profession.In March 2013, the calendar shows she was going to participate in a roundtable with the Notre Dame Program on Constitutional Structure to discuss the year’s theme, “The Constitution and Unwritten Law,” which was to focus on ways in which the law is shaped by forces outside the Constitution’s text.In four instances, it is not clear what Barrett may have said at the talks nor what the talks were about.

According to a 2005 calendar, she was scheduled to speak to the Women’s Legal Forum on April 5, 2005. Likewise, she was scheduled to give a presentation in February 2013 to faculty based on a paper. In January 2007, according to a calendar, she was to speak to the law school’s anti-abortion club, Jus Vitae, but it is unclear what the topic of discussion was. And in April 2007, she was set to participate in a student scholarship symposium where she responded to a presentation on an unknown topic from a student from the school’s law review.

Source: https://edition.cnn.com/2020/10/14/politics/kfile-amy-coney-barrett-calendar-disclosures/index.html?fbclid=IwAR020nPDE60Z3ZY-36bP7By8rOWXm6q4nmT0sTvy3TRGDKgU0CTddaKHoss

A federal judge on Wednesday declared a 2015 Tennessee law that requires a waiting period before an abortion unconstitutional. 

The law required anyone seeking an abortion to make two trips to a clinic. The first visit for in-person counseling by a doctor. The individual must then must wait at least 48 hours before returning for an abortion. 

Attorneys representing three of the state’s abortion providers called it a “mandatory time out” that stigmatizespeople seeking abortions, imposes particularly tough burdens on low-income residents and delays abortions until later in pregnancies when medical risks rise.

Protesters cheer for speakers against anti-abortion legislation at Legislative Plaza Tuesday, May 21, 2019, in Nashville, Tenn.
Protesters cheer for speakers against anti-abortion legislation at Legislative Plaza Tuesday, May 21, 2019, in Nashville, Tenn.  COURTNEY PEDROZA/THE TENNESSEAN

The state argued Tennessee has two key interests in upholding the waiting period law: protecting fetal life and providing women time to form “mental clarity” about their decision. 

Senior federal District Judge Bernard A. Friedman ruled Wednesday against the state, finding the portion of the law related to the waiting period unconstitutional. With the ruling, the state has been blocked from enforcing the law. 

“Defendants have failed to show that the challenged mandatory waiting period protects fetal life or the health of women in Tennessee. It is apparent that this waiting period unduly burdens women’s right to an abortion and is an affront to their ‘dignity and autonomy,’ ‘personhood’ and ‘destiny,’ and ‘conception of . . . [their] place in society,’” Friedman wrote.

“Defendants’ suggestion that women are overly emotional and must be required to cool off or calm down before having a medical procedure they have decided they want to have, and that they are constitutionally entitled to have, is highly insulting and paternalistic — and all the more so given that no such waiting periods apply to men.” 

State’s arguments ‘deeply flawed’

Opponents of the law celebrated Friedman’s decision on Wednesday. 

“We hope today’s decision serves as a wakeup call to lawmakers trying to interfere with patients’ personal medical decisions,” said Autumn Katz, senior counsel at the Center for Reproductive Rights, lead attorney on the case.

“Patients do not need politicians to dictate their decision-making process. Patients should be trusted to make decisions about their own families and healthcare. This law is demeaning and actually harms patients by imposing unnecessary costs and pushing abortion later in pregnancy.” 

A representative for the Attorney General’s office said the state plans to file an appeal to Wednesday’s decision. 

“We are disappointed in the ruling that comes a full year after the trial and five years after the law was passed by our elected representatives. We are evaluating next steps, including appealing the order,” Samantha H. Fisher, Attorney General’s office spokesperson, said in an email. 

The 2015 law was passed by the legislature in the wake of a referendum that passed the previous November putting the decision of how to legislate abortion in the hands of the General Assembly. 

Attorneys for the state argued in the waiting period lawsuit that the restriction was akin to other “informed consent” laws that ensure patients understand the procedure before undergoing treatment. 

But in his review of the law’s history, Friedman found “the legislature had no data suggesting that women seeking abortions lacked the information necessary for responsible decision-making or that medical professionals had identified a problem regarding a lack of information.”

And data from Memphis area health centers showed that even before the law, patients had to wait up to two weeks between scheduling the appointment and having the procedure, according to the judge’s ruling. After that, the wait period increased to two to three weeks for the first appointment and another one to two weeks for the second. 

With limits also in effect on how late in a pregnancy a patient can receive an abortion, Friedman noted that delays in appointments can affect their eligibility for the medical procedure. 

Based on testimony, Freidman found “that an abortion is a safe procedure,” he noted. “‘(M)ore than 97 percent’ of patients are ‘confident and clear’ in their decisions when they arrive at the Memphis health centers, which have an extensive informed consent process that remained largely unchanged,” after the bill was passed. 

The judge ultimately found the abortion providers’ testimony more credible than the state’s in discussions of informed consent. 

“In a further effort to show that the challenged statute is beneficial to women’s health, defendants point to … testimony that whether to have an abortion is a stressful and emotional decision; that stress and emotions compromise decision-making and result in more ’emotionally based,’ ‘hurried,’ and ‘less rational’ decisions; that short time limits hinder decision-making; and that abortion is associated with negative mental health outcomes,” he wrote. 

“The Court rejects these opinions because they are flatly contradicted by the credible

record evidence and are supported only by studies (including her own) which, as plaintiffs’ experts showed, are irrelevant or deeply flawed and deserve no serious consideration.”

Abortion laws in the courts

Meanwhile, two separate lawsuits related to new strict abortion laws in Tennessee remain before the court.

The lawsuits target Gov. Bill Lee’s controversial reproductive access laws, signed into law July 13, which would enact some of the nation’s most restrictive abortion regulations — including requiring abortion clinics to post a sign in the waiting area and in patient rooms informing people that it may be possible to reverse a medication abortion.

Failing to do so can result in a $10,000 fine for the clinic, though that portion of the new law was blocked by a federal judge before it could take effect Oct. 1.

But there remains no medical consensus on whether that reversal is possible, USA Today found. 

An August lawsuit argues that requiring doctors to share these claims violates their First Amendment rights because it is “compelled speech” that relies on “false and misleading information with which they disagree,” insists they refer patients to a government-run website to “partake in experimental and unproven treatments that run counter to their patients’ best interests,” and runs counter to their ethical obligations as medical provides. 

District Judge William L. Campbell halted the rollout of the abortion restrictions less than an hour after Lee signed the measure into law in mid-July by issuing a temporary restraining order as part of the earlier 2020 suit. Campbell later issued a preliminary injunction blocking the state from implementing the law while the courts rule on the case.

The state has filed an appeal to Campbell’s ruling. 

The governor’s office did not immediately return a request for comment.

Source: https://eu.tennessean.com/story/news/politics/2020/10/14/tennessee-abortion-law-federal-judge-overturns-2015-law-requiring-waiting-periods-abortions/3652946001/

He’s the first sitting senator in history to do so.

gary peters

United States Senator Gary Peters, a low-key, moderate Democrat from Michigan, is in a very tight re-election race that could decide whether his party wins the Senate. But he’s not the kind of guy who typically makes national headlines. He’s more known for being a dad who enjoys riding his motorcycle and drinking the local beer than he is for saying attention-grabbing things. So it may come as a surprise that with this story, he will become the first sitting senator in American history to publicly share a personal experience with abortion.

“It’s a story of how gut-wrenching and complicated decisions can be related to reproductive health, a situation I went through with my first wife,” he told me in a phone interview Sunday afternoon. 

In the late 1980s in Detroit, Peters and his then wife, Heidi, were pregnant with their second child, a baby they very much wanted. Heidi was four months along when her water broke, leaving the fetus without amniotic fluid—a condition it could not possibly survive. The doctor told the Peters to go home and wait for a miscarriage to happen naturally.

But it didn’t happen. They went back to the hospital the next day, and the doctor detected a faint heartbeat. He recommended an abortion, because the fetus still had no chance of survival, but it wasn’t an option due to a hospital policy banning the procedure. So he sent the couple again home to wait for a miscarriage. “The mental anguish someone goes through is intense,” Peters says, “trying to have a miscarriage for a child that was wanted.”

As they waited, Heidi’s health deteriorated. When she returned to the hospital on the third day, after another night without a natural miscarriage, the doctor told her the situation was dire. She could lose her uterus in a matter of hours if she wasn’t able to have an abortion, and if she became septic from the uterine infection, she could die.

“It’s important for folks to understand that these things happen to folks every day.”

The doctor appealed to the hospital’s board for an exception to their anti-abortion policy and was denied. “I still vividly remember he left a message on the answering machine saying, ‘They refused to give me permission, not based on good medical practice, simply based on politics. I recommend you immediately find another physician who can do this procedure quickly,’” Peters recalls.

The Peters were able to get into another hospital right away because they were friends with its chief administrator. Heidi was rushed into an emergency abortion that saved her uterus and possibly her life. The whole experience was “painful and traumatic,” Heidi shared in a statement. “If it weren’t for urgent and critical medical care, I could have lost my life.”

gary peters
Senator Peters with his daughter Maddy.COURTESY

Reflecting on the experience now, Senator Peters says it “enacted an incredible emotional toll.” So why go public with it? “It’s important for folks to understand that these things happen to folks every day,” he explains. “I’ve always considered myself pro-choice and believe women should be able to make these decisions themselves, but when you live it in real life, you realize the significant impact it can have on a family.”

Peters decided to share the story at this moment because the right to make such decisions as a family, free of politics, has never been more at stake. He is alarmed by the threat President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Judge Amy Coney Barrett, poses to women’s reproductive rights. The very conservative nominee once signed her name onto a newspaper ad calling Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 decision that legalized abortion, “barbaric.” If Republicans successfully confirm her to fill Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s seat, she could reverse legal abortion in America or significantly curtail it. “It’s important for folks who are willing to tell these stories to tell them, especially now,” Peters says. “The new Supreme Court nominee could make a decision that will have major ramifications for reproductive health for women for decades to come. This is a pivotal moment for reproductive freedom.”

“It’s important for folks who are willing to tell these stories to tell them, especially now. This is a pivotal moment for reproductive freedom.”

It is also a pivotal moment for his campaign. With so much at stake for Peters in a purple state that narrowly broke for Trump in 2016, it is remarkably bold of him to go public with his own abortion story less than a month before the election. Three members of the House have gone public about having had abortions—California Representatives Barbara Lee and Jackie Speier, and Representative Pramila Jayapal of Washington—but no sitting Senators.

Peters’ stance on the issue couldn’t be more different from that of his Republican challenger, John James, who supports overturning Roe and has referred to abortion as “genocide.” James openly opposes abortion in nearly all circumstances, including cases of rape and incest, and he won’t say whether he supports allowing the procedure to save the life of the mother. National anti-abortion groups have endorsed James and poured money into his Senate campaign.

gary peters
Senator Peters with his daughters Alana (left) and Maddy.COURTESY

But abortion rights activists hope that Peters sharing his story will help put a human face on the sensitive and historically politicized issue, and in doing so, help them in the fight to protect Ginsburg’s legacy. “Senator Peters’s family is an example of countless stories across our nation of the injustice and harm that occurs when we allow politicians who know nothing about our lives to make decisions about our pregnancies,” said Ilyse Hogue, president of NARAL. “In breaking the silence, he not only gives voice to what’s at stake, but he reminds us of our common humanity and quest for dignity and compassion when we fight for reproductive freedom for everybody.”

Update: Following publication of this story, the James campaign confirmed John James does support abortion in cases where the life of the mother is at risk.

Source: https://www.elle.com/culture/career-politics/a34339956/senator-gary-peters-abortion/

In Amy Coney Barrett’s world, people deemed “virtuous” are white, Christian, able-bodied men.

Amy Coney Barrett’s argument in favor of “virtue” requirements for participating in the political process is antithetical to an inclusive democracy.
 Patrick Semansky/Pool/Getty Images

Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s regressive views on abortion rights are well known. She has called abortion “always immoral,” and if confirmed, would be a reliable vote to overturn Roe v. Wade. Less well known, however, is her belief that a person’s virtue should determine their eligibility for basic civil rights like the right to vote.

Barrett, who is President Donald Trump’s nominee to fill Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Supreme Court seat, doesn’t just want to go back to the pre-Roe 1970s; she also wants to drag voting and political rights back to the Jim Crow era.

In a dissent she wrote last year in Kanter v. Barr, Barrett argued for limiting participation in political rights for people not deemed “virtuous.” What Barrett conveniently left out of her argument is that all of her historical legal examples were used to disenfranchise women, people with disabilities, and people of color.

In Kanter, a two-judge majority of a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit ruled it was reasonable for Rickey Kanter to lose his Second Amendment right to own a gun after his conviction for felony mail fraud. Barrett dissented. The majority found that the writers of the Constitution meant for Second Amendment protections to belong only to “virtuous” citizens, arguably excluding anyone convicted of a felony, whether violent or nonviolent.

Unfortunately, the two-judge majority’s use of “virtue” as a qualification for accessing Second Amendment rights left the door open for Barrett to argue for the application of “virtue” to other constitutional rights. Rather than limit her dissent to the case in front of her, Barrett wrote an overreaching opinion that argued for limiting citizens’ rights to vote and serve on juries.

Barrett noted that historically, states deprived people of voting rights and jury service if they had certain “infamous crime” felony convictions, but she failed to mention that this was a particular tool used to disenfranchise Black people in the Jim Crow South after the Civil War. Although many states had “criminal disenfranchisement” laws in place before the war, felon disenfranchisement was expanded after the passage of the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments to include more crimes and therefore disenfranchise more people.

This application of “virtue” restrictions on voting persists today: In many states, people convicted of certain felonies are still stripped of their right to vote, even as many states expand programs to re-enfranchise people convicted of felonies. Barrett further argued that historically, voting and jury service could be limited based on a “mental fitness” requirement, essentially supporting ableist restrictions on people’s voting rights based on mental disabilities.

But women, people of color, non-Christians, and people with disabilities didn’t need a felony conviction to be denied voting rights, entry to the United States, the right to serve on a jury, or even the right to testify in court on the basis of insufficient virtue or morality. Women weren’t legally allowed to vote until the passage of the 19th Amendment in 1920, and it wasn’t until 1975 that the Supreme Court ruled that women could be drafted into jury service just as men. White, Christian, able-bodied men were assumed to have sufficient moral virtue for political life, while people of color, women, non-Christians, and people with disabilities, were required to prove their morality and mental fitness to access their political rights.Barrett’s argument in favor of “virtue” requirements for participating in the political process in antithetical to an inclusive democracy.

For many crimes, women had to be virtuous in order for a man to be held accountable. The crime of rape or seduction could only be committed against a “pure” woman whose virtue was intact. If the woman wasn’t considered virtuous, 19th- and early 20th-century laws didn’t see her as a rape victim. Black women in particular rarely got justice for crimes of sexual violence because courts didn’t view them as having Christian “virtue” to lose. The stereotype of the oversexualized Black woman meant courtrooms didn’t take their testimony or pain seriously. Sexual moral virtue was also used to keep Chinese American women from entering this country as a result of the Page Act of 1875, which barred admittance for any Chinese woman suspected of being a sex worker.

Virtue and believability in court were linked to white, Christian values. In the 19th century, Jews were asked extra questions to prove their trustworthiness before being allowed to testify under oath. New York courts required a non-Christian witness to be sworn “according to the peculiar ceremonies of his religion” after 1829, but even with this accommodation courts asked separately whether such oaths were binding on a Jewish person’s conscience. Jewish people didn’t get the same benefit of the doubt as Christian witnesses. Some courts even questioned if believing in Jesus Christ was necessary for a witness to be believed under oath. Many courts had to rule separately that Jews were “competent” witnesses after they were challenged for their lack of Christian faith.

In the first half of the 19th century, many courts didn’t even allow nonwhite people to testify against white men accused of a crime. A number of states had laws barring Black or mixed-race people from testifying against white men. The California Supreme Court ruled in 1854’s People v. Hall that Chinese immigrants couldn’t testify against white citizens and threw out the conviction of a white man found guilty of murdering a Chinese man based upon the testimony of Chinese witnesses. By prohibiting Chinese immigrants from testifying against white people, the court suggested that Chinese immigrants couldn’t be trusted based on bigoted assumptions that their moral values were different from those held by white, Christian Americans.

This is the ugly history of the sort of virtue jurisprudence that Barrett advocates. Her focus on stripping rights from people who aren’t virtuous enough for her liking ignores one of the critical questions noted by the majority in Kanter: whether the state has a reasonable interest in denying people access to their Second Amendment rights. When the state strips someone of that right, it is doing so out of concern for public safety—to keep guns away from possibly violent people. But what is the state’s interest in keeping “non-virtuous” people from voting or from serving on juries? Except for discriminatory purposes, the state has no such interest.

Rather than determine whether a state has a reasonable interest in barring entire classes of people from exercising a right, Barrett justified her argument by placing voting and jury service on a lower rung of citizenship guarantees. According to Barrett, people serve on a jury and vote not because they have the right to do so but because it is for the collective good. This argument might have worked in the 19th century, but it is now 2020, and we have decades of legislation and jurisprudence that shows such limitations result in discrimination, biased jury verdicts, and nondemocratic elections.

Barrett’s argument in favor of “virtue” requirements for participating in the political process is antithetical to an inclusive democracy. A U.S. citizen shouldn’t be required to prove “virtue” in order to access their rights. Her reasoning is also an insult to the legacy of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, whose seat Barrett has been nominated to fill. Ginsburg, who wrote a scathing dissent in Shelby v. Holderthe 2013 case that gutted the Voting Rights Act—was a champion for voting rights.

Amy Coney Barrett is not.

Source: https://rewirenewsgroup.com/article/2020/10/13/amy-coney-barrett-wants-to-decide-if-youre-virtuous-enough-to-vote/?fbclid=IwAR0BSjSCG0sGZKnNmTwXwDDYuHPuC-wg3aH6tCFUpkJGoe_Qo_tavINnLDE

Amy Coney Barrett failed to disclose talks on Roe v. Wade hosted by anti-abortion groups on Senate paperwork

Judge Amy Coney Barrett initially failed to disclose two talks she gave in 2013 hosted by two anti-abortion student groups on paperwork provided to the Senate ahead of her confirmation hearing to become the next Supreme Court justice.Barrett, President Donald Trump’s nominee to succeed Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, gave the talks — a lecture and a seminar — in 2013 in her capacity as a law professor at the University of Notre Dame.

The seminar was co-sponsored by the school’s Right to Life club and constitutional studies minor, and the lecture was held by the law school’s Jus Vitae club. Late on Friday night, hours after this story published, the Senate Judiciary Committee released a supplemental update to Barrett’s committee questionnaire that includes the lecture and seminar, as well as a paid advertisement she signed that criticized Roe v. Wade and reaffirmed support for Notre Dame’s “commitment to the right to life.”

The release came after CNN asked the White House about the advertisement earlier on Friday.It is not known what was said in the two events, though both centered on abortion court cases. In a separate instance, CNN’s KFile found a publicized talk that Barrett gave to coincide with the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade — a seminar Barrett disclosed in her Senate paperwork — was removed by the university from YouTube in 2014. A school spokesman told CNN the video is now lost.

Barrett’s confirmation to the Supreme Court would strengthen its current conservative majority — creating a 6-3 bloc of conservative justices — and could limit abortion access.

Barrett’s initial failure to disclose the two events also raises questions about whether the questionnaire is complete or whether there will be any consequences from the Republican-led Senate Judiciary Committee, which oversees her confirmation hearing. Past chairmen of the powerful committee have halted the nomination process after judicial nominees omitted information in their Senate paperwork but under committee Chairman Lindsey Graham that scenario is unlikely.The committee has slated a hearing for Barrett on October 12 in an effort to confirm her by the full Senate before the election.Senate Democrats on the Judiciary Committee sent a letter to the Justice Department this week that said Barrett did omit materials concerning Roe v. Wade and asked if Barrett omitted any more materials after the National Review reported that Barrett signed a letter on a “right to life” ad in 2006 that called for the end of the landmark legal decision.White House spokesperson Judd Deere told CNN in an email, “Judge Barrett submitted her lengthy Senate Judiciary Questionnaire, spoke with an overwhelming majority of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and continues to be transparent throughout her confirmation process. She looks forward to answering questions from the Senators next week.

“A spokesperson for the Senate Judiciary Committee told CNN “it is a very normal practice” for Supreme Court nominees to update their questionnaire, noting that several current Supreme Court justices also supplied updated copies.

CNN reached out multiple times to Barrett through her law chambers but did not get a response.While Barrett’s association with anti-abortion groups has come under scrutiny — including signing a Right to Life ad in 2006 — little has been examined about her work with anti-abortion groups at Notre Dame. Barrett gave the talks hosted by the anti-abortion student groups while she was also a member of the Notre Dame chapter University Faculty for Life, which staunchly opposes abortion.In 2016, the group sent a letter asking the university to rescind an award honored to then-Vice President Joe Biden in recognition for his work as an American Catholic. The group called it “a scandalous violation of the University’s moral responsibility (as the American bishops wrote in 2004) never to honor those who act in defiance of fundamental moral principles about the sanctity of life” and attacked his views on abortion.

Barrett initially failed to disclose two seminars she gave students on Roe v. Wade

In April 2013, Barrett gave a small hour-long seminar “for students on changes to law and life for women after Roe v. Wade” entitled “Being a Woman After Roe.”According to a copy of the Facebook event advertising the seminar, spots were limited to 15 students. A student publication promoted the event as an informal seminar, small group setting in which students can learn more from faculty members who oppose abortion.”The Right to Life Seminar Series was begun as an opportunity for students and professors to discuss a variety of issues related to human life and dignity,” an advertisement for the event reads.

The conservative judge also did not disclose that in November 2013 she spoke to Jus Vitae, the law school’s Right to Life club, on “The Supreme Court’s Abortion Jurisprudence.” The law schooladvertised the lecture as focusing on Roe v. Wade and the cases that followed it, including cases that were being litigated on the lower courts at that time.The lecture Barrett did disclose was entitled “Roe at 40: The Supreme Court, Abortion, and the Culture War that Followed,” taking place in January 2013 and open to the university community. It was co-sponsored by the university’s Constitutional Studies minor.However, video for the lecture, which CNN’s KFile found on the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine was advertised by the school as being available on YouTube, was removed by the user in 2014, according to a YouTube spokesperson.Of 11 lectures publicized as available to watch on the school’s event, only Barrett’s was removed from YouTube.

After CNN inquired to obtain video of the event, a university spokesperson, Dennis K. Brown, told CNN, “We have checked with the organizer of the event [sic] have no information on what has become of the video of that lecture.”Several on-campus publications covered the event and Barrett’s remarks at the time.The Observer, Notre Dame’s student newspaper, wrote that Barrett said, ”I think it is very unlikely at this point that the court is going to overturn Roe as curbed by [Planned Parenthood v.] Casey. The fundamental element, that the woman has a right to choose abortion, will probably stand,” she said.The Irish Rover, a student publication covering Catholic identity, quoted Barrett as saying, “whether or not Roe gets overturned is irrelevant,” saying the question of abortion would return to the state level and could still be legal in certain states.

Anti-Biden letter

As Barrett gave talks on abortion to groups associated with the on-campus Right to Life groups, Barrett was also a member of the university’s chapter of the University Faculty for Life from the group’s founding in 2010 until 2016, according to her Senate paperwork.

While she was a member of the group, the group unanimously passed a resolution for a letter calling on the university to rescind an award given to then-Vice President Biden because of his beliefs on abortion.”Notre Dame claims to award the Laetare Medal ‘annually to an American Catholic in recognition of outstanding service to Church and society,'” the letter reads. “But our Faculty for Life Chapter agrees with Bishop Kevin Rhoades that the awarding of the Laetare Medal to Vice-President Biden is a scandalous violation of the University’s moral responsibility (as the American bishops wrote in 2004) never to honor those who act in defiance of fundamental moral principles about the sanctity of life.

“The faculty letter attacks Biden’s position on abortion for not wanting to “impose” the Catholic Church’s teachings on abortion upon a woman or a doctor, supporting the death penalty and for rejecting “the truth that human life begins at conception.” It also states that public officials like Biden have “an especially grave duty to preserve” life.

Source: https://edition.cnn.com/2020/10/09/politics/kfile-amy-coney-barrett-roe-v-wade-talks/index.html?fbclid=IwAR1mALdGHYtft7wo6dg1MenhfCSvJYxcv8dbeofWn0ieSa-pGNy6gBVzQHQ

The decision whether or not to bear a child is “central to a woman’s life, to her dignity. It is a decision she must make for herself. When Government controls that decision for her, she is being treated as less than a fully adult human responsible for her own choices.” 

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said that 30 years ago, at her Supreme Court confirmation hearing.She understood that reproductive freedom is foundational to equality, and critical to women’s health and economic security. Without access to high-quality reproductive health care — including contraception and safe, legal abortion — we cannot have true equality.

But President Trump, Senate Republicans, and their extremist allies don’t care. They’ve spent almost four years of the Trump administration — and the many years before — undermining health care and turning back the clock on reproductive rights. That’s why they nominated Amy Coney Barrett to sit on the Supreme Court. She’s the ticket for a desperate, right-wing party that wants to hold onto power a little longer in order to impose its extremist agenda on the entire country.

President Trump and his Republican enablers have tried to deny this obvious fact. The president recently said that he “didn’t know” how Barrett would rule on reproductive rights, and Republicans in the Senate have fallen in line. The Republican Party knows the large majority of Americans don’t support overturning Roe v. Wade. They benefit when we stay on the sidelines — and they want us to sit back and stay quiet while our fundamental freedoms are on the line.

But we see right through their radical play.

President Trump picked Barrett as his Supreme Court nominee to take us back in time. Roe v. Wade established the constitutional right to safe and legal abortion and has been the law of the land for over 47 years. But over, and over, and over again, President Trump has bragged about his plans to appoint judges who would “automatically” overturn Roe. The Affordable Care Act expanded access to reproductive health care — like no-co-pay birth control — for millions. But President Trump has promised to overturn the Affordable Care Act in its entirety, and sent his Department of Justice to ask the Supreme Court to do just that.

Barrett is Trump’s ideal candidate to accomplish his plans. In 2006, she signed a newspaper ad calling for the end of Roe and describing the decision as “barbaric.” She was a member of an anti-choice group while on the University of Notre Dame faculty. She’s also been critical of the Affordable Care Act and the Supreme Court’s past decision to uphold the law in court. Her position on abortion and other reproductive rights are clear: She believes women cannot be trusted to make decisions about their own bodies.

If Barrett’s nomination makes you scared and angry, you’re right to be: 17 abortion-related cases are already one step away from the Supreme Court. Twenty-one states have laws that could be used to restrict abortion in the event Roe is overturned. And if Barrett’s confirmation is rammed through quickly, she’ll have the opportunity — on November 10 — to hear a case about overturning the Affordable Care Act, and a lifetime on the nation’s highest court to undermine the rights and values we hold dear.

Access to birth control has changed the economic futures of millions of women, and access to safe abortion care is an economic issue, too. For a young couple with modest wages and piles of student loan debt, the decision to start or expand a family is a powerful economic issue. For a woman working two jobs with two kids in day care, an unplanned pregnancy can upend budgets already stretched too far. For a student still in high school or working toward a college degree, itcan derail the most careful plans for financial independence. Indeed, one of the most common reasons that women decide to have an abortion is because they can’t afford to raise a child.

And let’s be explicitly clear: If these attacks succeed, they will have disproportionately negative consequences for women of color, who are already facing some of the most insurmountable barriers to abortion care. Rich women will still have access to abortion and reproductive care, but it will be Black and Brown women, women with low incomes, women who can’t afford to take time off from work, and young women who were raped or molested by a family member who will be the most vulnerable.

But this isn’t a moment to back down. Already, it’s inspiring to see so many women and friends of women coming off the sidelines in this fight — and we must continue to speak up, call your senators, and make sure this conversation is grounded in our real experiences. Men must speak up, too, because reproductive freedom affects us all.

Voting is already underway across the country, and there are only 26 days before the election is completed. And the data shows most Americans want to wait until after the election for a new justice to be confirmed. Justice Ginsburg gave us our marching orders: Do not fill this Supreme Court seat until after the election when the next president is installed. We will fight hard together to honor her wish.

Source: https://www.thecut.com/2020/10/elizabeth-warren-on-amy-coney-barrett-and-abortion-rights.html?fbclid=IwAR2HVUMzSwi9VKIAvY8wZh4pSGQg029Kz-PjBBKi8WBSVQsSbGYy8flx9PI

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