January 31, 2023

It’s a lot to follow. Here’s the abortion news you may have scrolled past this week:


Abortion – and confusion – on the mood in Kansas

Abortion has officially made its way off the Supreme Court list to the polls: Kansas on Tuesday became the first state to vote directly on abortion rights since the Supreme Court was overthrown Roe v. Wade. The vote underlines several features of the abortion struggle after theroefrom mobilization to mass confusion.

The state is generally conservative but cannot approve a total ban on abortion after the state’s Supreme Court ruled in 2019 that the procedure is protected by language in the state’s constitution. The amendment Kansans is voting Tuesday would allow the state legislature to impose further restrictions.

The August election date threatens to dampen turnout, especially for Democrats, who have less competitive ballot primaries that draw their voters to the polls.

“The deck was purposely stacked against us by the legislature,” said Emily Wales, the president of Planned Parenthood Great Plains, which covers Kansas. “But it backfired somewhat because here we are weeks after the Roe decision and people have never been more involved.”

There is even more uncertainty about the vote, as the text of the bill and the messages surrounding it have caused confusion among voters. For example, anti-abortion proponents have run ads saying the amendment would end late-term abortion, but third-trimester abortions are already banned in the state.

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[Read more: Kansas’ abortion vote kicks off new post-Roe era]


Alito broadcasts irritations with foreign leaders

In recent weeks, foreign leaders have spoken out against the Supreme Court’s decision to roll back abortion rights. Predictably, the author of that earth-shattering majority opinion would disagree with this criticism.

On Thursday, a video surfaced in which Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito mocked the critics. In a surprising keynote speech at a conference on religious freedom in Rome the week before, Alito exposed the international condescension being levied against his conservative bloc.

“I had the honor of writing this term, I believe, the only Supreme Court decision in the history of that institution that has been criticized by a slew of foreign leaders, who were fine with commenting on U.S. law.” said Alito. said in a video posted by the University of Notre Dame, which sponsored the event.

Alito joked about the recent resignation of former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and joked that the British leader “paid the price” for making the decision. The judge, an appointee of President George W. Bush, also targeted President Emmanuel Macron of France and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada, who jokingly notes Alito is “still in office” despite their criticism of the US Supreme Court.

[Read more: Alito mocks foreign critics of Supreme Court abortion ruling]


Clergy Lawsuits: Florida Abortion Restrictions Violate Religious Freedom

Florida clergy representing various religions filed lawsuits this week against Florida’s new abortion law, arguing it violates their freedom to practice their faith.

“The lawsuits are at the forefront of a new legal strategy that argues that new post-Roe abortion restrictions violate American religious freedom, including that of clergy counseling pregnant people,” The Washington Post reported.

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One of the clergy, Rev. Laurie Hafner, told the Post that the religious right does not “represent the Christian faith.” She is one of two Christian clerics to file lawsuits against the state, along with three Jews, a Buddhist and a Unitary Universalist.

Florida’s abortion law, which went into effect on July 1, bans abortions beyond 15 weeks with no exceptions for rape or incest.

Governor Ron DeSantis, a Republican, signed the bill in a church, the Post noted.


Data Brokers Defy Dems

Data sets on millions of expectant parents have been sold for decades, from trimester statuses to preferred birth methods. As abortion gets more and more political with overthrowing roeDemocrats, however, have redoubled their efforts to deter data brokers from the lucrative practice — with little success.

Abortion rights groups express concern that as states enact restrictive abortion laws, politicians and governments will weaponize personal data. Since POLITICO published a leaked draft of the Supreme Court’s decision three months ago, Democratic leaders have sent letters to data brokers urging them to stop the practice, question companies about the obtained datasets, and introduce legislation to prevent the sale of such reproductive health data .

With no federal policies preventing the practice, many brokers are not complying with the requests and it seems unlikely that legislative action will be taken, which seems unlikely. To underscore this point, POLITICO has found more than 30 listings of brokers — offering information about pregnant parents or selling access to that group — and the majority of them have been updated since the court’s decision in late June.

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[Read more: The web is home to an illegal bazaar for abortion pills. The FDA is ill-equipped to stop it.]


Judicial drama continues in states

There is no end in sight to the legal drama in states – the battleground of abortion since the Supreme Court’s decision to leave reproductive rights to state governments – as local leaders still disagree with courts over the future of the medical procedure .

In Michigan, a judge Monday blocked enforcement of an abortion ban dating back nine decades. The decision amounted to a legislative whiplash after the the court of appeal of the state determined that provincial prosecutors could uphold the ban hours earlier. For months, abortion rights advocates in the state have gathered hundreds of thousands of signatures to put an abortion rights amendment on the ballot in November as the Republican-led legislature pushes for restrictions.

On the other hand, an appeals court in Kentucky on Monday an almost complete ban restored on abortion across the country. The ruling temporarily overturned the order of a lower court to allow for proceedings. For now, abortion is illegal in the state — including in cases of rape or incest — except when a parent’s health is at risk. State health workers who assist in abortion procedures can face up to five years in prison.

Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron, a Trump-backed Republican who became governor in November, praised the court’s decision.

“I appreciate the court’s decision to enforce Kentucky’s pro-life laws as we continue to vigorously defend the constitutionality of these important protections for women and unborn children,” Cameron said. said in a tweet.