GOP lawmakers in states with abortion bans already in place are pushing to make them more restrictive, while blue state officials are trying to expand abortion access. Nine months after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned a nationwide right to abortion, the long-term picture on what will be allowed in each state remains unsettled, even though voters have bristled at broad bans. In Tennessee, officials scaled back a bill on an exception after hearing from powerful anti-abortion groups. In Wyoming, they've adopted a second ban. Meanwhile, blue states including Minnesota and Hawaii have codified efforts to guarantee abortion access.
Hundreds of women are traveling weekly to the southern tip of Illinois to secure an abortion. It's something no longer available to millions of women living in a 1,800 mile stretch of 11 Southern states that have mostly banned pregnancy terminations since last June, when the Supreme Court stripped away constitutional protections for women to end pregnancies. Clinics in the southern Illinois region are struggling with the growing demand. The waitlist has grown from two days to nearly three weeks at one clinic in Fairview Heights, Illinois. A doctor there says, "We are on this teeter-totter of what can we do here to make more space for the people who are going to be fleeing their home state.”
In a victory for abortion-rights supporters, the Republican-led but closely divided New Hampshire House has rejected multiple bills to further restrict abortion access while also approving legislation to protect it. Lawmakers were evenly split Thursday on whether to repeal the state's ban on abortion after 24 weeks of pregnancy. That bill was tabled, but the House also voted to remove the penalties associated with the ban and to explicitly affirm the right to an abortion before 24 weeks. It also rejected a bill that would have effectively banned abortion altogether and another that would have required a waiting period for those seeking abortions.
Authorities say a woman accused of setting fire last year to a Wyoming abortion clinic that was under construction told investigators that she opposes abortion and was experiencing anxiety and nightmares over the facility opening. According to court documents, 22-year-old Lorna Roxanne Green, of Casper, told an investigator she broke into the Wellspring Health Access clinic in Casper on May 25 and poured and lit gasoline. Green made an initial appearance by video Thursday in federal court in Cheyenne. She remains jailed in Wheatland with no bond set yet. Her attorney didn't immediately return a message seeking comment. The clinic has yet to open.
A rural hospital in Idaho will stop delivering babies and providing other obstetrical care, citing recently passed laws in which physicians could be prosecuted for providing abortions, among other reasons. Bonner General Health will discontinue deliveries in mid-May. It also cited a declining number of deliveries and a loss of doctors among other factors. Those pregnant will most likely have to travel about 45 miles to Coeur d’Alene, or other hospitals farther away in Idaho, Washington and Montana. Hospital officials said the decision was a difficult one, and the state's shifting legal and political climate on medical care was partially to blame.
Medicare Advantage, the private-sector alternative to original Medicare, now enrolls nearly half of all Medicare beneficiaries. But it remains controversial because — while most of its subscribers like the extra benefits many plans provide — the program frequently costs the federal government more than if those seniors remained in the fully public program. That controversy […]
Feds: Woman who set fire at Wyoming abortion clinic opposes abortion, said she was anxious about facility opening
Feds: Woman who set fire at Wyoming abortion clinic opposes abortion, said she was anxious about facility opening.
A Kansas proposal based on the claim that providers leave infants to die when they're born during abortions is nearing legislative approval. The push for the legislation comes as Republicans pursue limited anti-abortion measures, following a decisive statewide vote in August protecting abortion rights. The Kansas House voted 88-34 on Wednesday on a bill that would deal with cases when an abortion procedure results in a live birth. It would require medical personnel to take the same steps to preserve the newborn’s life as providers would with other live births. Critics say the bill is unnecessary and designed to give abortion care a negative public image.
Authorities say a suspect has been arrested on charges that she set fire to a building that was slated to become Wyoming’s only full-service abortion clinic. Police say 22-year-old Lorna Roxanne Green was arrested on Tuesday. She is suspected of starting the May 2022 fire at a building in Casper that was being renovated to house the Wellspring Health Access clinic. No one was injured in the blaze, but the fire delayed the clinic’s opening, which was initially planned for last summer. It was most recently scheduled to open next month. The arrest was announced Wednesday, hours after a judge temporarily blocked a ban on abortion that went into effect a few days ago.
A judge has temporarily blocked Wyoming’s new abortion ban. Wednesday's decision means abortion is legal again in Wyoming. The new ban took effect Sunday, making abortion illegal in Wyoming despite earlier rulings by Teton County District Court Judge Melissa Owens that blocked a previous ban. Owens’ decision suspends the ban for at least two weeks amid a new lawsuit. Owens is not weighing in for now on another new Wyoming abortion law being challenged in her court, a first-in-the-nation ban on abortion pills. Gov. Mark Gordon says he's disappointed by the ruling but looks forward to the state defending the abortion ban in court.
The U.S. abortion landscape is far from settled nine months after the U.S. Supreme Court ended the nationwide right to terminate a pregnancy. With states now in control, advocates on both sides await a major decision by a Texas judge on the legal status of abortion pills. A judge on Wednesday put on hold a new ban in Wyoming, and Hawaii's governor just followed other Democrats in protecting abortion access. Most Republican-controlled states have banned or restricted abortions, making them illegal at all stages of pregnancy in 14 states. Most Democrat-led states have moved to protect access, and legal challenges have popped up nationwide.
Authorities make arrest in 2022 fire set at building slated to become Wyoming's only full-service abortion clinic
Authorities make arrest in 2022 fire set at building slated to become Wyoming's only full-service abortion clinic.
The governor of Massachusetts is reminding pharmacies that they are required to stock a key abortion pill, despite a nationwide effort by anti-abortion activists to ban the medication. Gov. Maura Healey sent out a statement Wednesday citing state regulations that pharmacies and pharmacy departments must have all reproductive health medications, including mifepristone. The Democratic leader's action comes as a federal judge in Texas is considering a lawsuit that would overturn decades-old federal approval of the drug. Healey said Massachusetts will always protect abortion access.
The Oklahoma Supreme Court has overturned a portion of the state’s ban on abortion, ruling women have a right to an abortion not just in a medical emergency. The court on Tuesday ruled that a woman has the right under the state Constitution to receive an abortion to preserve her life if doctors determine that continuing the pregnancy will endanger her life due to a condition she has or is likely to develop during the pregnancy. The court, however, didn't rule on whether the state Constitution grants the right to an abortion for other reasons. The voted 5-4 in ruling in the lawsuit filed by Planned Parenthood and others.
Abortion-rights supporters filed an amended lawsuit Tuesday seeking to block Wyoming’s new ban on abortion pills from taking effect. A group hoping to open what would be the state’s second clinic offering abortions filed the amended lawsuit days after Republican Gov. Mark Gordon signed what is the nation’s first explicit ban on abortion pills. Absent court intervention, that ban would take effect July 1. Abortion-rights supporters already were seeking to block a separate sweeping abortion ban that took effect Sunday in Wyoming without the governor’s signature. That law seeks to overcome objections that prompted a judge to suspend a previous ban.
Democratic Gov. Tony Evers is working to keep the spotlight on abortion ahead of next month's Wisconsin Supreme Court election, resurrecting a bill that would repeal the state's 1849 abortion ban. Republican lawmakers rejected the bill last summer. It has next to no chance of passing this time, but Evers and Democratic lawmakers held a news conference Tuesday to promote the measure. Abortion figures to be the key issue in the April 4 state Supreme Court election. Democratic Attorney General Josh Kaul has filed a lawsuit challenging the ban and the case looks destined to land before the high court. If liberal-leaning candidate Janet Protasiewicz wins the election, conservatives would lose their majority on the court, opening the door to defeating the ban.
Wyoming has pushed to the front of efforts to prohibit the most common type of abortion, with the nation's first explicit ban on abortion pills. In many states women can now get abortion pills prescribed online and delivered to be taken at home. Increased availability has helped pill abortions now account for more than half of abortions in the U.S. Many states effectively ban abortion pills by prohibiting abortion, but none had taken direct aim at them before Wyoming. The bill passed alongside a new, sweeping abortion ban and observers say both measures are likely to be challenged in court.
An Oregon bill that would greatly expand access to abortion and gender-affirming care has sparked debate at a packed public hearing inside the state Capitol in Salem. The legislation was considered during a public hearing Monday. The bill would shield abortion providers and patients from criminal and civil liability from states where the procedure is banned. It would also require private insurance to cover gender-affirming care. The most contentious aspects of the legislation include allowing doctors to provide reproductive health care information and services to anyone regardless of age, as well as barring them in certain cases from disclosing that to parents.
Minnesota is moving to strengthen its status as a refuge for patients from restrictive states who travel to the state to seek abortions — and to protect providers who serve them. The state House on Monday voted 68-62 to prohibit enforcement in Minnesota of laws, subpoenas, judgements or extradition requests from other states against people who get, perform or assist with abortions in Minnesota. Supporters say a prime example of what they're worried about is a Texas law that deputizes individuals to enforce their state’s restrictions by allowing them to sue to anyone who helps a patient obtain an abortion elsewhere.
Tennessee’s GOP-dominant House has advanced legislation to add a narrow exemption to the state’s strict abortion ban. Monday's passage came despite concerns raised by Democrats and medical experts that the bill does not go far enough to protect doctors and pregnant patients. The legislation was drastically reworked from the original version introduced just last month after Tennessee’s influential anti-abortion lobbying group came out in opposition. The law now includes an “affirmative defense” for doctors, putting the burden on the physician to prove an abortion was medically necessary — instead of requiring the state to prove the opposite. The new bill says doctors may provide abortion services for ectopic pregnancies and miscarriages. The bill requires Senate approval.
No Republican has done more to restrict abortion rights than Donald Trump. But in the early days of the 2024 presidential contest, no Republican has worked harder to avoid the issue than the former president either. More than his GOP rivals, Trump is sidestepping the polarizing topic just nine months after he celebrated the Supreme Court's stunning decision to strip women’s constitutional right to abortion. Look no further than Trump’s trip to Iowa last week for evidence of his balancing act. Trump repeatedly refused to say whether he would support a federal abortion ban when asked. And in multiple public appearances, he didn't mention the word “abortion” once.
One of President Joe Biden’s nominees to a federal appeals court has generated rare concern from some Democrats and outside groups. They question the nominee's involvement in a legal brief defending a New Hampshire parental notification law, injecting the issue of abortion into the confirmation fight from an unexpected flank. Michael Delaney is nominated for the Boston-based 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Also sparking questions was Delaney's representation of a private boarding school sued over a sexual assault. New Hampshire's two Democratic senators support Delaney's confirmation. Up to four other Democrats in the closely divided Senate have reservations. Delaney said in written testimony to senators he did not write the 2005 brief.
A U.S. District Court case is being widely followed because the judge’s decision could overturn the FDA’s approval of mifepristone two decades ago. With abortion rights polling well even in red states, anti-abortion activists are increasingly turning to the courts to achieve their aims.
Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders has signed a new law that will allow an anti-abortion monument to be built near the state Capitol. Sanders' office said Friday night that the Republican governor signed the bill allowing the creation of a privately funded “monument to the unborn” on the Capitol grounds. The bill was approved by the majority-Republican Legislature last week. The monument will mark the number of abortions performed in Arkansas before Roe v. Wade was struck down last year. A near-total ban on abortion took effect in the state when the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the 1973 Roe decision.
Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon has signed into law the nation’s first explicit ban on abortion pills since they became the predominant choice for abortion in the U.S. in recent years. Gordon on Friday also allowed a separate measure restricting abortion to become law without his signature. The pills are already banned in 13 states with blanket bans on all forms of abortion, and 15 states already have limited access to abortion pills. The Republican governor’s decision comes after the issue of access to abortion pills took center stage this week in a Texas court. Wyoming’s ban on abortion pills would take effect in July, pending any legal action that could delay that.