Friday, August 30, 2019
Aug. 30 2019 (The Cut): What’s Become of All the Extreme Abortion Bans From This Year?, by Amanda Arnold:
This legislative season, a number of states passed extreme abortion restrictions. The Cut's Amanda Arnold provides a rundown on the fate of these laws. Alabama passed a law that prohibits abortion in all cases except where the fetus is not viable or the pregnancy creates a serious danger to a woman's health. Kentucky, Ohio, Mississippi, Louisiana and Georgia passed 6 week bans and Missouri passed an 8 week ban. In addition to banning abortion way before fetal viability, these laws have been criticized for banning abortion before a woman may even be aware she is pregnant.
None of the laws have gone into effect thanks to litigation. TROs or preliminary injunctions have been issued in most states. In Alabama it appears that the state will consent to a TRO pending the outcome of the underlying legal challenge, and a TRO hearing in Georgia is scheduled for late September.
All these laws are clearly unconstitutional so the result is not surprising. However, states are expected to appeal the decisions with the hopes that Trump appointees to federal Courts of Appeal will be willing to ignore Supreme Court precedent.
“Trump has appointed over 100 judges to the federal bench, and we’re seeing circuit courts become more and more anti-abortion,” [Planned Parenthood director of state advocacy media Bonyen Lee-Gilmore] told the Cut. “This is no coincidence. Trump is remaking the judicial branch in order to push these unconstitutional laws forward, and we’re seeing these judges stare Supreme Court precedent in the face and create new rules.”
Even if Appellate Courts uphold lower court decisions blocking these laws from taking effect, it is likely that states will try to get the Supreme Court to hear the cases and reconsider Roe v. Wade.
Tuesday, August 20, 2019
August 20, 2019 (The Cut): Planned Parenthood Just Lost $60M in Funding. What Does That Mean for Women?, by Erica Schwiegerhausen:
Earlier this week Planned Parenthood announced that it would forgo approximately $60 million in federal funding under the Title X program rather than comply with new regulations issued by the Trump Administration. Title X is a federal program that funds contraception and other reproductive care for low income women. Under federal law, Title X funds cannot be used to pay for abortions. However, the new rule would prohibit the provision of Title X services at the same facilities in which abortion care is provided and also limit Title X health care providers from providing referrals for abortion.
Planned Parenthood's acting president has stated that “We will not be bullied into withholding abortion information from our patients.” Instead Planned Parenthood will withdraw from Title X while legal battles over the rule continue. Last month, a federal appeals court refused to stay enforcement of the rule while the case is pending.
Planned Parenthood serves about 40% of Title X recipients. In the short-term. Planned Parenthood will make "emergency funds" available and fundraise to make up for the loss of funds. Other small, independent clinics are also affected. For instance as many as 15 clinics in Maine may close rather than continue to receive Title X funding and comply with the rule.