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In a heartbeat: abortion in America

The Economist: The Intelligence
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11 months ago

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The Economist: The Intelligence
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5 d ago

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Today. A federal judge in Mississippi will rule on whether a new abortion law in the state should be upheld. Almost certainly. It's one of several strict anti-abortion laws being passed across the country that aren't really expected to survive court challenges, so called heartbeat bills. They prohibit abortion, as soon as a fetal heartbeat can be detected can be as early as six weeks. At noon local time across the country today abortion rights protestors aligned with more than fifty organizations will descend on houses and court steps to decry the laws. All this legislation directly challenges Rovers, is wait, that national legal standard says that abortion should be protected until the fetus is viable, but Kay Ivey, the governor of Alabama who signed the strictest of these recent bills into law appears ready to challenge, it certainly cannot deter, you efforts to protect the one because of calls if it means going to state to the United States Supreme court. So this year alone, there are twelve bills, at least going through the state legislatures being ridge is our US news editor, she's been reporting on the progress of these laws for the economist and four, Hoppy bills of past. It's quite likely that other states will announce similar bill's in the coming weeks. And how did we get to this stage? There's this sort of proliferation of these kinds of bills being proposed so ever since row versus Wade, was to Ted by the supreme court to be a constitutional right in nineteen Seventy-three pro-lifers in America have been finding ways to take it on and challenge it the way that they've traditionally done, this chip away at wrote, but undermine it. So introducing a state level regulations, which make it very difficult for women to access abortions and photonics to provide them. So one way, typically that they would do this exciting very precise thing like the width of the corridor, and connect, so that's been very successful strategy. But in the last couple of years, her life is not all of them and not to organize Asians have adopted. More aggressive stones, and that's right to directly challenge Roe versus Wade. And they've been impacted that festival by the election of Donald Trump, he promised as a presidential candidate that you would overturn Roe versus Wade, it'll happen automatically in my opinion because I am putting pro-life justices on the court. Importantly by his appointment of two conservative justices to the supreme court and with the appointment of the second of those cabinet last year, the supreme court now has is solidly conservative majority. So what's in the Mississippi law said the Mississippi law that's going to call today is a hobby Bill abortions would be banned. Once Hoppy has been detected and that typically happens around the sixth week of pregnancy with which is a short time after a woman has missed her menstrual periods. Lots of women do realize that, that pregnant is six weeks, lots of people calling them, -ffective washing bounds, rather than early abortion by and there are no exceptions. In the case of this law for rape, or incest, only exceptions, if the pregnancy endangers the woman's life or health. And how is it that the Mississippi law heading to court today, we'll be upheld? It's extremely unlikely. It's a completely clear straightforward violation of Roe versus Wade. So it's, it's pretty straightforward legal case. The, the court will strike it down on my certainly and the. Judge that actually looking at this case in November. He struck down a Mississippi abortion ban that would have come into fifteen weeks of pregnancy. So this seems impossible that he would allow through an even more stringent abortion ban. So these bills being put forward to realistically become laws that being put forward in the hope that they were some point if there are enough of them get before the supreme court and in front of both conservative justices, who they hope will want to overturn very versus Wade. And what's your view on that? What do you think the supreme court would do should they be presented with a case? I think there are two puff this, I disagree in court won't be action to take one of these bands. And Secondly, if it does, I think, is on the whole unlikely throw return it because especially couple of years or year, before presidential election. It would be seen as a very partisan act and the chief Justice in particular doesn't want to be seen as as being partisan. He also is a very keen institution, est, he doesn't want to return, long-held Preston's, especially one of importance. And how do you think this, this will? Eventually play into the twenty twenty race. So Donald Trump's got a bit of a balancing act here because he needs to hold onto the conservative evangelical voted feminine twenty sixteen. And for many of them abortion, is the single most important voting issue. But he also will be aware of the fact that majority of Americans want abortion to remain legal, at least in the first trimester. So they want to stand. In other words, he doesn't want early abortion bounce to become a big issue. In fact, over the weekend, he puts out some tweets suggesting that these bounds were bit much. He said he had the same view on abortion, as Reagan and we should remember that Reagan appointed a female supreme court Justice, Sandra Day O'Connor who voted to uphold road. The safest bet for him is to rail against late term abortions, because while most Americans believe that early abortions should legal there much less certain about lifetime abortions only thirteen percent of Americans think that late term abortion. It should be available under any circumstances. So he feels safe rating and raging against late term abortions is heated in his state of the union address to defend the dignity of every person, I am asking congress to pass legislation to prohibit the late term abortion of children. The mother will if the president isn't really pushing for an end to early abortion and the people aren't pushing for an end to Roe versus Wade. Why is it at risk at all? Wait is unlikely to be overturned anytime soon. But I think what will certainly happen over the next couple of years. Is that row will be challenged in incremental steps? So every time is a regulation at the state level, that's challenged by an organization and ends up going to court ends up to import it's more likely to held now than it would have been a few years ago, meaning that states will have fewer abortion connects and women will find it more difficult access abortion attorney stage during pregnancy. And so his wait will be slowly and steadily chipped away at. Thank you very much for your time.