That’s a lot to follow. Here’s the abortion news you may have seen this week:
Abortion – and confusion – on the ballot in Kansas
Abortion has officially moved from the Supreme Court register to the polls: Kansas on Tuesday became the first state to vote directly on abortion rights since the Supreme Court overturned it Roe v. Wade. The vote highlights multiple features of the fight against post-abortiondeerfrom mobilization to mass confusion.
The state is generally conservative, but it cannot outright ban abortion after the state Supreme Court ruled in 2019 that the procedure is protected by language in the state constitution. The amendment Kansans are voting on Tuesday would allow the state legislature to pass new restrictions.
The August election date threatens to dampen turnout, especially for Democrats, who have fewer competitive primaries on the ballot drawing their voters to the polls.
“The deck was stacked against us on purpose by the legislature,” said Emily Wales, president of Planned Parenthood Great Plains, which covers Kansas. “But it kind of backfired because here we are weeks after the Roe decision and people have never been more engaged.”
Further uncertainty looms over the vote, as the text of the bill and the messaging around it have confused voters. Abortion advocates, for example, ran ads saying the amendment would end late-term abortion, but third-trimester abortions are already banned in the state.
Alito broadcasts aggravations with foreign leaders
In recent weeks, foreign leaders have spoken out against the Supreme Court’s decision to curtail abortion rights. Predictably, the author of this shocking majority opinion challenged these criticisms.
On Thursday, a video of Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito mocking critics surfaced. In a surprise keynote at a religious freedom conference in Rome the previous week, Alito shed light on the international condescension toward his conservative bloc.
“I had the honor of writing this term of office, I believe, the only Supreme Court decision in the history of this institution that has been lambasted by a whole host of foreign leaders, who felt perfectly fine to comment American law,” Alito said. said in a video published by the University of Notre Dame, which sponsored the event.
Mocking the recent resignation of former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Alito joked that the British leader “paid the price” for speaking out against the decision. The judge, appointed by President George W. Bush, also took aim at French President Emmanuel Macron and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who jokingly notes Alito “are still in office” despite their criticism of the US High Court.
Cleric lawsuits: Florida abortion restrictions violate religious freedom
Florida clergy representing various faiths filed lawsuits this week against Florida’s new abortion law, arguing that it violates their freedom to practice their religion.
“The lawsuits are at the forefront of a new legal strategy arguing that new post-Roe abortion restrictions violate Americans’ religious freedom, including that of clerics who counsel pregnant women,” The Washington Post reported.
One of the clerks, the Rev. Laurie Hafner, told the Post that the religious right does not “represent the Christian faith.” She is one of two Christian clergy who have filed lawsuits against the state, along with three Jews, a Buddhist and a Unitarian Universalist.
Florida’s abortion law, which went into effect July 1, prohibits abortions after 15 weeks with no exceptions for rape or incest.
Govt. Ron DeSantis, a Republican, signed the bill at a church, the Post noted.
Data brokers challenge Democrats
Datasets of millions of expectant parents have been sold for decades, from quarterly statuses to preferred birthing methods. As abortion becomes increasingly political with the overthrow of deerhowever, Democrats have redoubled efforts to dissuade data brokers from the lucrative practice – with little success.
Abortion rights groups are raising concerns that as states enact restrictive abortion laws, politicians and governments will weaponize personal data. From POLITICO published leaked draft of the High Court’s ruling three months ago, Democrat leaders sent letters to data brokers urging them to end the practice, pledging to question companies about the datasets obtained and introduce a legislation to prevent the sale of this reproductive health data.
Without federal policy preventing the practice, many brokers do not adhere to the demands and do not seem likely to miss legislative action, the chances of which seem slim. Underscoring this point, more than 30 listings of brokers – offering information on pregnant parents or selling access to this group – were found by POLITICO, and the majority of them have been updated since the court ruling. end of June.
The legal drama persists in the States
There is no end in sight to the legal drama in the states – the abortion battleground since the High Court’s decision to leave reproductive rights to state governments – as local leaders continue to to disagree with the courts over the future of the medical procedure.
In Michigan, a judge on Monday blocked enforcement of a nine-decade-old abortion ban. The decision amounted to a legislative boost after the the state appeals court determined that county prosecutors could continue to enforce the ban hours earlier. For months, abortion rights advocates in the state have collected 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 side, a Kentucky appeals court on Monday reinstated to near-total ban on abortion statewide. The decision temporarily overturned a lower court order authorizing the proceedings. Currently, abortion in the state is illegal — including rape or incest — except when a parent’s health is at risk. State health care workers who assist with abortion procedures can face up to five years in prison.
Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron, a Trump-backed Republican and November gubernatorial candidate, welcomed the court’s decision.
“I appreciate the court’s decision to allow Kentucky’s pro-life laws into effect as we continue to vigorously defend the constitutionality of these important protections for women and unborn children,” Cameron said. said in a tweet.