As US states pass restrictive abortion laws, questions surface

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Print this page Email A Friend!


ATLANTA, United States (AP) — As multiple states pass laws banning many abortions, questions have surfaced about what exactly that means for women who might seek an abortion. The short answer: nothing yet.

Governors in Kentucky , Mississippi , Ohio and Georgia have recently approved bans on abortion once a foetal heartbeat is detected, which can happen in the sixth week of pregnancy, before many women know they're pregnant, and Alabama's governor signed a measure making the procedure a felony in nearly all cases. Missouri lawmakers passed an eight-week ban Friday. Other states, including Louisiana, are considering similarly restrictive laws.

None of the laws has actually taken effect, and all will almost definitely be blocked while legal challenges play out.

The US Supreme Court's landmark decision in Roe v Wade said a woman has the right to choose whether to have an abortion. Supporters of the new laws acknowledge that that they will initially be blocked, but they welcome the challenges. They've made it clear that their ultimate goal is to get the nation's highest court to reconsider its 1973 ruling now that the balance seems tipped in their favour.

Can women still get abortions in States where these laws have passed?

Yes. Abortion remains legal nationwide.

Abortion providers say that with all the coverage of the new laws, they've been getting calls from patients and potential patients who are confused about whether the procedure is still available.

Although abortion is still legal everywhere, lawmakers in some states have passed less-restrictive measures that make accessing the procedure more difficult. That has resulted in six states having only a single abortion provider, while others have only two or three, according to the Guttmacher Institute, an abortion rights research group.

Opponents of the laws are filing lawsuits and fully expect the measures won't be allowed to take effect while the court challenges are pending.

A court blocked Kentucky's law from taking effect after the American Civil Liberties Union sued, and that case is ongoing.

The ACLU and Planned Parenthood on Wednesday challenged Ohio's law, and they expect a court to keep it from entering effect as scheduled in July.

Mississippi's law also is set to take effect in July, but it has been challenged by the Center for Reproductive Rights.

Alabama's law would become enforceable in six months and Georgia's would take effect January 1, but the ACLU plans to challenge both of those laws.


Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at http://bit.ly/epaperlive


ADVERTISEMENT




POST A COMMENT

HOUSE RULES

1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper � email addresses will not be published.

2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.

3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.

4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.

5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed: advertising@jamaicaobserver.com.

6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email: community@jamaicaobserver.com.

7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy



comments powered by Disqus
ADVERTISEMENT

Poll

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Today's Cartoon

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon
ADVERTISEMENT