abortion

The end of the fight over Brett Kavanaugh's Supreme Court nomination sets up a new battleground over abortion rights, and activists on both sides of the issue are gearing up for what's likely to be a series of contentious battles from the high court to state legislatures.

Karen Kasler / Statehouse News Bureau

At least 18 abortion restrictions have been put into place in Ohio since Gov. John Kasich took office in 2011. There are fewer abortion clinics now versus then. Yet the new abortion report compiled by the state shows the number of abortions actually increased last year. 

Ireland officially revoked its ban on abortion this week – and its health minister says that under a new law, women won't have to pay for abortion services in the country. The goal is to ensure access and make sure women aren't forced to travel for the procedure, Health Minister Simon Harris says.

Irish President Michael D. Higgins signed the abortion referendum bill into law on Tuesday, striking the Eighth Amendment from the books.

Confirmation hearings begin this week for Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh.

One issue state lawmakers may find most significant is reproductive rights and how Kavanaugh responds to questions regarding Roe v. Wade, the 1973 ruling that gave women the constitutional right to choose abortion.

Maine Republican Sen. Susan Collins says Kavanaugh told her that he views the landmark abortion rights ruling as "settled law."

Planned Parenthood Federation of America told NPR on Thursday it will be joining officials in a growing number of states to oppose a Trump administration proposal to withhold federal funds from family planning clinics that provide information about or refer women seeking an abortion.

Three-quarters of Americans think the Supreme Court should not overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling that made abortion legal nationwide, a new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll finds.

But that result includes a degree of nuance.

Just 17 percent say they support overturning Roe outright. Another 24 percent say they want Roe kept in place, but they want to see more restrictions on abortion.

What would the U.S. look like without Roe v. Wade, the 1973 case that legalized abortion nationwide?

That's the question now that President Trump has chosen conservative Judge Brett Kavanaugh as his nominee to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy.

President Trump's nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to fill the Supreme Court vacancy left by retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy was met with swift partisan response from many in Congress, emphasizing the power of a narrow group of uncommitted senators.

A large number of Senate Democrats, including Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., immediately announced that they plan to vote against Kavanaugh.

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With President Trump's choice Supreme Court renewing debate over "Roe v. Wade," a new abortion clinic opened its doors in Columbus on Monday.

President Trump has vowed not to ask prospective members of the Supreme Court about their views on Roe v. Wade, the basis for legal abortion nationwide since 1973 and the most widely discussed legal case in America in the past half-century.

President Trump also made a rather different promise to voters in 2016 in his third televised debate with Hillary Clinton. He said Roe would be overturned if he got to change the balance on the court:

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Toledo’s last remaining abortion clinic, which regained its license after battling the state for years, says it could be forced to close anyway if it's ordered to pay a $40,000 state fine.

Updated June 29 at 12:28 p.m. ET

The process of replacing retiring Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy is underway, and the prospect of filling the seat held by the court's swing vote is setting the stage for what is likely to be a battle over abortion rights unlike any in a generation.

Updated at 10:51 a.m. ET on Wednesday

The U.S. Supreme Court refused on Tuesday to hear a challenge to an Arkansas abortion law that, in practice, bars abortions by pill instead of by surgical procedure.

The result is that Arkansas is now the only state in the country that essentially bans abortion by pill, a method certified by the federal Food and Drug Administration as at least as safe as surgical abortions. The Supreme Court's decision not to intervene in the case at this point, however, is not final.

Abortion rights supporters protest at the Statehouse.
JO INGLES / Ohio Public Radio

Abortion rights advocates in Ohio are worried about the effect of what they call a “gag rule” that would ban family planning clinics from receiving federal funds if they refer women for abortions or share space with abortion providers.

Updated at 11:40 a.m. ET

The Trump administration is reviving a rule that would deny federal family planning funds to organizations that provide abortions or make abortion referrals.

The rule is similar to one in place during the Reagan administration. The proposal was drafted by the Health and Human Services Department and is under review by the White House budget office.

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