Mississippi’s new law is a 20-week ban, while Florida’s creates additional restrictions on abortions performed in the third trimester, and bans abortion at any point in a pregnancy if a doctor determines the fetus could survive outside the pregnant person’s body.
The Hobby Lobby case is not some odd outlier regarding “religious freedom.” It’s just one of the many ways the anti-choice movement is trying to chip away at women’s access to contraception and instill the idea in the public’s mind that contraception is controversial.
A package of legislation introduced in the state this month would ban abortion after the detection of a fetal heartbeat, which can occur as early as six weeks into a pregnancy, and would severely criminalize doctors by making it a felony to perform such a procedure.
Access to reproductive health-care services in Louisiana is limited. There are only five clinics that provide abortion care in the state—and that number is soon expected to fall to two once a new law signed by Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal goes into effect.
Modeled after a Texas law that was signed last summer, HB 388 requires abortion providers to obtain admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the clinic where they perform abortions, imposes a forced 24-hour waiting period on surgical abortions, and reduces the number of abortions a doctor must perform in a given year to be considered an abortion provider.
It seems grotesque that a woman’s lifeless body can be commandeered by a state and used as a petri dish in which to grow a baby. But that’s exactly what happened to Marlise Munoz in Texas, and that is what is going to happen to women in Louisiana should Gov. Bobby Jindal sign HB 1274 into law.
The 49th anniversary of Griswold v. Connecticut shows how little progress we’ve made in the fight for reproductive autonomy.
The Louisiana legislature passed a bill that requires physicians to keep brain-dead women who are pregnant on mechanical support if the physician determines there is a chance the fetus is viable.
Arkansas is the latest state to claim a law banning abortions after 12 weeks’ gestation is not an unconstitutional ban, but simply a “regulation.”
Earlier this month, Joyce Arthur and Christian Fiala argued in a piece for RH Reality Check that clinicians should not be permitted to claim “conscientious objection” as grounds for refusing to provide abortion or contraception, taking issue with any tolerance of it. Global Doctors for Choice thinks differently on both philosophic and strategic grounds.