roe v. wade | WOSU Radio

roe v. wade

Abortion supporters gather outside the Ohio Statehouse on Tuesday to rally against the anti-abortion laws in the state.
Sam Aberle / Ohio Public Radio

A new Quinnipiac University poll shows a majority of Ohioans support background checks for gun sales, favor legalized abortion and oppose the recently-passed “Heartbeat Bill.” 

Three-quarters of Americans say they want to keep in place the landmark Supreme Court ruling, Roe v. Wade, that made abortion legal in the United States, but a strong majority would like to see restrictions on abortion rights, according to a new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist Poll.

The recent passage of the so-called "Heartbeat Bill" has caused some confusion about the legality of abortion in Ohio. Gov. MIke DeWine signed the legislation into law last month, but it does not take effect until July. The ACLU and other organizations have sued, hoping to prevent the law from going into effect. Morning Edition host Amy Eddings spoke with Be Well Health reporter Marlene Harris-Taylor about the current realities of abortion access in Ohio.

Let's start with the facts about this new law. How does it does it work?

Updated at 6:23 p.m. ET Wednesday

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey signed a controversial bill that bans nearly all abortions into law Wednesday evening.

It's considered the most restrictive abortion law in the United States. The law makes it a crime for doctors to perform abortions at any stage of a pregnancy, unless a woman's life is threatened or there is a lethal fetal anomaly.

Under the new law, doctors in the state face felony jail time up to 99 years if convicted. But a woman would not be held criminally liable for having an abortion.

A vote on what would be the country's most restrictive abortion ban was postponed in the Alabama Senate on Thursday after chaos erupted over the stripping of an amendment to allow exceptions in the case of rape or incest.

In what would likely become the most restrictive abortion ban in the country, the Alabama House Tuesday passed a bill that would make it a crime for doctors to perform abortions at any stage of a pregnancy, unless a woman's life is threatened. The legislation is part of a broader anti-abortion strategy to prompt the U.S. Supreme Court to reconsider the right to abortion.

The new anti-abortion tilt of the U.S. Supreme Court has inspired some states to further restrict the procedure during the first trimester of pregnancy and move to outlaw abortion entirely if Roe v. Wade ever falls. But the rush to regulate has exposed division among groups and lawmakers who consider themselves staunch abortion opponents.

With Democrats now in control of the U.S. House of Representatives, it might appear that the fight over abortion rights has become a standoff.

After all, abortion-rights supporters within the Democratic caucus will be in a position to block the kind of curbs that Republicans advanced over the past two years when they had control of Congress.

But those on both sides of the debate insist that won't be the case.

With a newly configured U.S. Supreme Court, the stakes are high for abortion-rights battles at the state level. Abortion-rights advocates and opponents are preparing for a busy year — from a tug-of-war over Roe v. Wade to smaller efforts that could expand or restrict access to abortion.

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."

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.

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President Trump has nominated a 53-year-old Circuit court of Appeals judge in Washington D.C. to the U.S. Supreme Court. If confirmed by the Senate, the lifetime appointment of Brett Kavanaugh would solidify a conservative majority on the court for generations. 

President Trump says he plans to announce his pick for the U.S. Supreme Court next week.

The Trump administration has begun to float specific names for the high court's vacancy. The consensus seems to be that among the finalists on Trump's shortlist are Neil Gorsuch, a judge on the federal appeals court based in Denver; Judge William H. Pryor Jr. of Alabama, who served on the federal appeals court based in Atlanta; and Judge Thomas Hardiman of Pittsburgh, who serves on the 3rd Circuit Federal Court of Appeals.

It's President Donald Trump's first official act on the abortion issue. On Monday, the new president signed a presidential memorandum reinstating the "Mexico City" policy — barring U.S. aid from any group that provides or "promotes" abortion overseas. The policy dates to 1984, when Ronald Reagan unveiled it at a United Nations Conference in Mexico City. The Trump version is even broader than the incarnations that previous Republican presidents have adopted.

What does this mean in practice? To help make sense of it we've put together an FAQ.