Why are states continuing to pass abortion restrictions based partly on erroneous theories that abortion harms women? And why are state attorneys general calling as expert witnesses some of the very people who proffered these spurious notions to state legislatures in the first place?
After all the votes were counted on Election Day, Republicans held a majority of seats in the New Mexico state house for the first time in 60 years. This change in the political landscape could threaten abortion access not just in the state, but throughout the Southwest, where anti-choice policymakers have severely limited abortion rights.
Tennessee state lawmakers wasted no time taking advantage of a new constitutional amendment, passed on Election Day, that allows the state legislature to pass laws restricting abortion rights.
A federal lawsuit claims election officials improperly counted ballots of those who voted in favor of Amendment 1 but abstained from casting a vote in the gubernatorial election.
Following the passage last week of Amendment 1, the Republican-dominated Tennessee legislature will move forward with anti-choice laws as soon as possible, a state GOP lawmaker said.
The measure amends the constitution to include language that says “nothing in this Constitution secures or protects a right to abortion or requires the funding of an abortion.” The amendment would also allow state lawmakers to “enact, amend, or repeal statutes regarding abortion.”
Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell, who will likely become majority leader if he wins his re-election campaign next week and if the Republicans win the Senate, has promised his base that a 20-week abortion ban is a priority for him.
Shortly after early voting began in Tennessee, local media reported that some voters have received misleading information about Amendment 1 and that there have been cases of voting machine irregularities.
The emergency request comes after a lower court ruled the law could take effect November 1.
State lawmakers nationwide have passed legislation to restrict access to reproductive health care, but in New Mexico, attempts to restrict reproductive health care have gained little traction. However, reproductive rights advocates fear that the political landscape may soon change and threaten abortion access not just in the state, but throughout the region.