Prohibiting abortion without exception can be politically risky: Shot

Anti-abortion activists protest outside the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday, May 23.

Getty Images via Bill Clark / CQ-Roll Call, Inc.


Hide captions

Toggle caption

Getty Images via Bill Clark / CQ-Roll Call, Inc.


Anti-abortion activists protest outside the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday, May 23.

Getty Images via Bill Clark / CQ-Roll Call, Inc.

If it seems that the anti-abortion movement has taken a more extreme shape in recent months, as it has.

But this is not the first time – in the 49 years since the Supreme Court declared abortion a constitutional right, positions on both sides of the abortion controversy have shrunk and flowed again and again.

Opponents of abortion and those who support abortion rights hope that the Supreme Court will soon repeal its 1973 Rowe vs. Wade Decision, and both groups reacted strongly. Proponents of her case have been working to make the actual transcript of this statement available online. Proponents of her case have been working to make the actual transcript of this statement available online.

But in many conservative states, anti-abortion efforts to eliminate the most exceptions – rape or incest or to save the mother’s life – have made headlines recently.

The effort does not seem to have widespread appeal. According to opinion polls, the majority of Americans who oppose abortion towards the end of pregnancy are in favor of approving these exceptions.

Nonetheless, there are countless examples of such attempts – moving beyond the prohibition on abortion after 15 weeks, which is a key issue in Mississippi law that is being considered by the Supreme Court. A draft opinion leaked this month suggests that the court may reverse the case Rowe. Over the past few months, for example, Oklahoma has passed three laws prohibiting abortion. The latest one, signed by the governor on Wednesday, bans abortion at the beginning of fertilization, which, at least theoretically, would ban both in vitro fertilization and many forms of hormonal birth control. (The Oklahoma Bill sponsor says this is not the purpose of the law.)

During the Oklahoma Senate debate on the toughest of bans, Republican Sen. Warren Hamilton said he doesn’t think the measure is too high because it allows abortion in an ectopic pregnancy, a life-threatening medical emergency where a fetus is growing out of the uterus.

This has alarmed some medical professionals. “Pregnancy that can implant in the fallopian tubes and other places cannot support pregnancy,” Dr. Iman Alsaden, an OB-GYN and medical director of Planned Parenthood Great Plains, told reporters at a May 19 news conference. “If you continue this pregnancy will happen, there will be no sustainable baby later [the fallopian tube] It will explode and people will die. “

At the same time, a growing number of state legislatures are considering sanctions that do not include exceptions to the health of the pregnant woman (as opposed to life) or to conceive as a result of rape or incest. Witnessing her bill in Ohio, GOP State Representative Jean Schmidt told lawmakers in April that a child as a result of rape “would be an opportunity for that woman, no matter how young or old, to decide what she is going to do.” Help us to be productive people. “

The exceptions to rape and incest in the early 1990’s were mostly recognized part of the abortion ban, but not always. For a dozen years, they were not part of the so-called Hyde Amendment, a provision inserted in annual federal spending bills that barred the use of almost all federal funds for abortion.

The more liberal (at least in the case of abortion) Senate tried to keep the exceptions of rape and incest (and health) intact, only to be pushed back by the more conservative House, which led the anti-abortion effort to rape. Henry Hyde (R-Ill.).

“The Supreme Court has said: ‘You cannot sentence a rapist to death. This is a cruel and unusual punishment,'” Hyde said during the 1988 debate. “But you’re saying eradicate. Eliminate this innocently inconvenient remnant of rape.”

In 1993, Hyde himself reverted to the exceptions of rape and incest within his nominal financing ban, and they have been there ever since. With Democratic President Bill Clinton in the White House and a large Democratic majority in both the House and Senate, “I don’t think there is a vote for a direct ban on abortion funding,” he said at the time. Indeed, at the time, there were fears that the embargo would be lifted altogether, and only Hyde’s parliamentary strategy would have allowed the embargo to prevail.

In this August 16, 2012 photograph, former delegates Todd Akin, R.M., and his wife Lulu, Sedalia, are speaking to reporters during Governor Ham’s breakfast at the Missouri State Fair.

Orlean Wagner / AP


Hide captions

Toggle caption

Orlean Wagner / AP


In this August 16, 2012 photograph, former delegates Todd Akin, R.M., and his wife Lulu, Sedalia, are speaking to reporters during Governor Ham’s breakfast at the Missouri State Fair.

Orlean Wagner / AP

Prohibiting abortion with or without exception is politically risky. In the 2012 Missouri race for the U.S. Senate, the rival, Republican then-representative. Todd Akin favored defeating current Sen. Claire McCaskill until he said in a now-infamous interview that he did not support the exception because women rarely get pregnant as a result of rape. “The female body has ways to try to stop that whole thing,” she said. Republican presidential challenger Mitt Romney and his running mate Paul Ryan declined to comment that year. Akin finally lost.

Now, however, anti-abortion forces seem to have been granted free rein by the Supreme Court to ban abortion at any level they wish. Activists clearly want the most comprehensive sanctions that lawmakers will pass. Whether voters go with it will be decided at the ballot box in November.

KHN (Kaiser Health News) is a national newsroom that creates in-depth journalism about health issues. This is an editorial independent operating program KFF (Kaiser Family Foundation).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.