Barrett’s hearings inspire state action to protect abortion rights

Republicans blocked Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation. Now abortion rights activists must focus on state legislatures and Congress to consolidate abortion rights across the country.

As seen during the Women’s March in DC on October 17th. (Chandra Bozelko)

With the death of women’s rights icon Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Senate Republicans rush to confirm With Trump candidate Amy Coney Barrett to occupy the Ginsburg seat, federal constitutional protection of the right to abortion health care is in imminent danger.

Growing evidence shows that Barrett is a serious threat to women’s rights, including reproductive rights.

As a professor of law at Notre-Dame, Barrett was a member from the “Faculty for Life” anti-abortion university group. In 2013, she said at an event at Notre Dame that she believes life begins at conception. In a 2015 Texas Law Review item, she objected to the idea that courts should always uphold precedents, referring specifically to Roe vs. Wade. Herself opposes access to contraception and in vitro fertilization (IVF)ramming loud rebuke health professionals.

Fearful that Barrett’s confirmation will lead the Supreme Court to end federal protection of abortion rights, activists across the country are mobilizing to ensure the right to abortion-related health care in law of State.

A similar threat in 2018 after Trump appointed Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court led activists to lobby and win several new national abortion rights laws. Vermont, Maine, new York, California, Illinois and Nevada all have passed laws protecting and expanding abortion rights. Massachusetts Repealed the 173-year state-imposed abortion ban which was still in the books but inapplicable due to Roe vs. Wade.

But with Trump now on the cusp of making his third Supreme Court appointment, the Tories will consolidate a 6-3 supermajority of justices who are unanimous in their hostility to abortion rights and the Roe vs. Wade previous.

Barrett's hearings inspire state action to protect abortion rights
Before the Supreme Court on October 12 as the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings begin for the appointment of Amy Coney Barrett. (Victoria pickering / Flickr)

New Jersey

In response, New Jersey lawmakers introduced a bill to codify Roe vs. Wade in state law, which Governor Murphy publicly supports. The law would remove medically unnecessary restrictions on abortion-related health care, oblige most private insurers to cover abortion, and allow a wider range of health care providers, including physician assistants, to provide coverage for abortion. certified midwives and other advanced practice nurses administer abortions.

Kaitlyn Wojtowicz, vice president of public affairs for the Planned Parenthood Action Fund of New Jersey, told NPR that the goal of the law is to increase access to abortion care for residents of New Jersey as well as for patients in other states.

“We know there might be a future where New Jersey is the state people can go to. [for abortion health care], ” says Wojtowicz.


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Massachusetts

The Massachusetts legislature also passes legislation to protect and strengthen abortion rights in the state. Introduced in January 2019, the ROE law would establish an affirmative right to abortion under state law, allow abortion care after 24 weeks in the event of a fatal fetal diagnosis, and remove a requirement for judicial bypass. expensive for minors seeking abortion health care. The law would also establish safety net coverage for people without health insurance.

The bill has been in committee for almost two years as lawmakers argued over the details, then turned to COVID-19 when the pandemic struck.

Barrett's hearings inspire state action to protect abortion rights
Outside the Supreme Court during Whole Woman’s Health vs. Hellerstedt pleadings in June 2016. (Wikimedia Commons)

But now, with the threat of Barrett’s confirmation, campaigners are calling for action on the ROE Act. Representative Lindsay Sabadosa, sponsor and supporter of the bill, reported that one afternoon after RBG passed away, she received a one-minute email for about three hours in support of the Roe Act. The massive outpouring of support for the bill increased its likelihood of adoption.

“I am more confident and optimistic that the bill will go forward”, says Sabadosa.

Legal battles over abortion restrictions

Abortion rights advocates have recently succeeded in challenging abortion restrictions in court. A federal judge in Tennessee ruled last week that the state The 48-hour abortion waiting period law is unconstitutional. Earlier this year, another federal court overturned the ban on abortion during sex week in Mississippi.

But the outlook for these appeal cases is bleak. Trump has appointed 216 right-wing anti-abortion judges in federal courts. A federal court of appeal in Kentucky recently confirmed an abortion restriction require providers to have admitting privileges to a local hospital and ambulance service in the event of a medical emergency. And many cases of abortion are directed to the Supreme Court.

Focus on Congress and state legislatures to expand abortion rights

If Democrats take the Senate and the White House, Congress must pass the Women’s Health Protection Act, which would create a federal right to abortion and end medically unnecessary restrictions on abortion, such as unnecessary ultrasounds, medically inaccurate advice, wait times and TRAP laws.

Earlier this month, Biden is committed to doing Roe vs. Wade “The law of the land.” Reproductive justice activists also call for better access to abortion-related health care Law on Equal Access to Abortion Coverage in Health Insurance (EVERY woman), which would lift Hyde’s discriminatory amendment and restore abortion insurance coverage for those enrolled in Medicaid and other federal programs.

Congress should also increase the number of Supreme Court justices and appoint abortion rights judges.

The reproductive rights movement has focused the struggle for abortion rights in federal courts for decades. As Republicans block Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation, abortion rights activists must now focus on state legislatures and Congress to consolidate abortion rights across the country.

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