Will Fetal Heartbeat Laws Topple Roe V. Wade?

Image: Msci, GPL

Everyone has their eyes on Roe V. Wade, but abortion foes seem to have already won the ground game

| Kaiser Health News, May 31 2019

Years of piecemeal state laws have left their mark.

Mandatory waiting periods, travel, missed work and lost wages all make getting an abortion more expensive and more difficult, particularly for low-income women.

Doctors and clinic staff have to face protesters, threats, proliferating regulations and draining legal challenges; and some clinics have closed. In remote parts of the midwest and south, women may have to travel more than 300 miles to end a pregnancy.

Meanwhile, in other news on abortion: Hollywood slowly reacts to Georgia’s heartbeat bill, a look back at an abortion doctor’s murder, and more.

  • Politico: Even If Roe Is Upheld, Abortion Opponents Are Winning
    Abortion is still legal in the United States, but for women in vast swaths of the country it’s a right in name only. Six states are down to only one abortion clinic; by the end of this week, Missouri could have zero. Some women seeking abortions have to travel long distances, and face mandatory waiting periods or examinations. On top of that, a new wave of restrictive laws, or outright bans, is rippling across GOP-led states like Alabama and Georgia. (Pradhan, Rayasam and Ravindranath, 5/30)
  • Los Angeles Times: Hollywood Is Rethinking Georgia, Sort Of. What Changed?
    During the weeks after Georgia’s Republican Gov. Brian Kemp signed a new restrictive abortion law, it appeared the top corporate figures in Hollywood were prepared to sit on the sidelines as the court system wrangles with the matter. With its generous tax incentives, Georgia has become a filmmaking hub, hosting blockbuster films such as Marvel Studios’ “Black Panther” and shows such as Netflix’s “Stranger Things.” With so much at stake, none of the industry’s top decision-makers seemed willing to take much of a stand. That began to change this week. (Faughnder, 5/30)
  • NPR: Disney Doubts Production In Georgia Will Go On, If Abortion Law Takes Effect
    WarnerMedia, Walt Disney Co. and NBCUniversal will consider stopping productions in Georgia should the state’s new abortion law take effect, echoing a threat made this week by Netflix. WarnerMedia, which owns HBO, CNN and other channels, told NPR in a statement on Thursday, “We will watch the situation closely and if the new law holds we will reconsider Georgia as the home to any new productions.” The company said it operates in many states and countries where it may not agree with leaders’ stances but respects due process. (Ingber, 5/30)
  • KCUR: 10 Years After Dr. Tiller’s Murder, Kansas’ Abortion Rules Could Take Another Turn
    Exactly 10 years ago, on May 31, 2009, an anti-abortion zealot gunned down ob/gyn and reproductive rights advocate George Tiller as he was distributing literature in the foyer of his Wichita church. His murder marked the culmination of 18 years of militant anti-abortion protests that began with massive demonstrations in Wichita in June 1991. Protestors blockaded abortion clinics for weeks during the “Summer of Mercy,” police made more than 2,600 arrests and a judge ordered U.S. marshals to keep the gates of Tiller’s clinic open. (Margolies, 5/30)
  • The New York Times: Can An Abortion Affect Your Fertility?
    The data tells us there is no link between abortion and future fertility when abortion is safe. Only abortions that are associated with complications could potentially impact future fertility. Medical complications that might lead to difficulties getting pregnant in the future include uterine injury from the procedure, infection and serious bleeding that requires surgery. (Gunter, 5/30)
  • Kaiser Health News: Podcast: KHN’s ‘What The Health?’ The State Of The Abortion Debate — A Deep Dive
    Abortion is one of the hottest political issues of 2019. With a newly configured Supreme Court, which many pundits think has the votes to roll back or overturn the landmark 1972 Roe v. Wade ruling, states are rushing either to protect abortion rights or pass laws intended to restrict or ban it. But the abortion debate is much more complicated than just pro or con. It’s entangled in partisan politics, health care, religion and more. (5/30)

This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

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