‘Evil in Washington Flooding Into Amarillo’: Abortion Travel Bans at the City Level

The abortion battle is getting more heated in Amarillo, Texas—the Panhandle’s largest city. On May 28, City Council held a lengthy public hearing over enacting an abortion travel ban.

The next public hearing is set for Tuesday, June 11. And while it may be a truism that “Amarillo is often forgotten by much of the state [and] that most of the country has never heard of [it],” the contentious debate over the travel ban is certainly bringing the city out of the shadows, as it touches on one of the thorniest questions in our post-Dobbs landscape—namely, what limits, if any, can be placed on interstate abortion travel.

When an Abortion Ban Is Not Enough: Louisiana Seeks to Add Abortion Pills to List of Controlled Dangerous Substances

In February, Texas attorney Mason Herring pleaded guilty to slipping abortion-inducing pills into his wife Catherine Herring’s drink without her knowledge or consent. She subsequently gave birth to a baby 10 weeks premature with significant developmental delays.

Catherine Herring’s brother, Thomas Pressly, a Republican state senator from Louisiana, drafted a bill in collaboration with Louisiana Right to Life which creates the new crime of “coerced abortion by means of fraud.” Although the bill was initially framed narrowly in terms of holding men such as Herring accountable for heinous behavior, Pressly makes clear that “throughout the process, I have been trying to determine what other steps I can take to control the rampant illegal distribution of abortion-inducing drugs that ended up hurting my sister.”

Can Idaho ‘Force Someone Onto a Helicopter’ as the Standard of Medical Care for Accessing Health-Stabilizing Abortions?

In the wake of Dobbs, while most abortion-restrictive states have maintained an exception to preserve the health of the pregnant woman, a handful of ban states—including Idaho—no longer permit abortions needed to protect a pregnant person’s health. The Biden administration says this is in direct conflict with the federal statute EMTALA.

Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar encapsulated what Justice Sotomayor referred to as the “big daylight” between the two laws: “In Idaho, doctors have to shut their eyes to everything except death—whereas, under EMTALA, you’re supposed to be thinking about things like: Is she about to lose her fertility? Is her uterus going to become incredibly scarred because of the bleeding? Is she about to undergo the possibility of kidney failure?”

Arizona Republicans Are Divided Over Abortion. For Progressives, This Is a Political Opportunity.

The Arizona Supreme Court resurrected its zombie pre-statehood criminal abortion ban earlier this month, which is slated to go into effect as early as June.

The decision, which took many by surprise, has sent Republican lawmakers and antiabortion activists in the state into a strategic tailspin as they seek to prevent the widespread outrage over the decision from transforming Arizona into a state that priorotizes reproductive freedom during the November elections.

Arizona Finally Repeals its Total Abortion Ban: ‘The Eyes of the World Are Watching’

The Arizona Supreme Court revived an 1864 pre-statehood ban on abortion (although the law will not go into effect immediately).

To quote the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the way of thinking embedded in these zombie laws from the 19th century reflects “ancient notions about women’s place in the family and under the Constitution, ideas that have long since been discredited.” The Arizona Supreme Court does not expressly traffic in these deeply gendered stereotypes that are contemporaneous with the abortion ban it has resurrected from the dead—but they are silently lurking in the margins of the opinion.  

As Attorney General Mayes put it, the decision is “unconscionable and an affront to freedom… and will go down as a stain on our state.”

The Comstock Act Is a Backdoor Approach to a National Abortion Ban—And Justices Alito and Thomas Are Interested

A general consensus seems to have emerged after last week’s oral arguments in the case against the abortion pill that the Supreme Court is likely to rule that the anti-abortion physicians and their umbrella group, the Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine, lack sufficient legal grounds to challenge the FDA’s loosening of restrictions on mifepristone.

While dismissal based on a lack of standing would be a welcome result, it is not a guarantee given the Court’s anti-abortion supermajority. But even if this occurs, the apparent zest manifested by Justices Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas towards the Comstock Act from 1873 brings a lurking danger fully out into the open. 

As U.S. Faces a Rising Tide of Abortion Bans and Restrictions, France Enshrines Freedom of Access in the Constitution

In 2023, seeking “to avoid a U.S.-like scenario for women in France, as hard-right groups are gaining ground,” President Emmanuel Macron promised a constitutional amendment affirming women’s right to abortion and to control over their own bodies. The amendment subsequently passed by a crushing majority of 780 to 72 votes and was inserted ceremoniously into the French Constitution on March 8, 2024, International Women’s Day.

Meanwhile in 2022, the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Supreme Court decision overturned the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade that held abortion as a protected right under the United States Constitution

How do we explain the radically different trajectories on this critical dimension of women’s rights between two countries with strong feminist and anti-abortion movements that decriminalized abortion within a few years of one another?  

Seeing Fetal ‘People’ Everywhere: What Has ‘Dobbs’ Wrought?

The anti-abortion movement moved a step closer to realizing its goal of achieving fetal personhood when the Alabama Supreme Court held that frozen embryos are children for purposes of the state’s Wrongful Death of a Minor Act. However, the 8-1 ruling is a victory with a discernable twist. Republican lawmakers and their allies are now scrambling since at least three Alabama IVF providers have suspended their family-building services while they sort out the ruling’s implications.

The Anti-Gay, Anti-Trans and Anti-Abortion Groups Behind Those ‘He Gets Us’ Super Bowl Commercials

Before the news cycle moves on, we must discuss the right-wing He Gets Us campaign’s two religious ads during the Super Bowl, which highlighted that “Jesus loved and cared for anyone and everyone” and which the Washington Post voted “the most controversial” of the game.

This claim of love and acceptance is directly undercut by the campaign’s connections to far-right anti-LGBTQ and anti-abortion groups.

Arizona Repeals Extreme Abortion Ban From 1864

The Arizona Supreme Court ruled to let a law banning almost all abortions in the state go into effect. The justices ordered the state to wait 14 days before beginning to enforce the ban, to give advocates time to ask a lower court to pause it again.

Voters may be able to weigh in on the issue this November: Last week, Arizona for Abortion Access, a coalition of abortion rights organizations, announced it had gathered enough signatures for a ballot measure that would ask voters to enshrine abortion rights in the state’s Constitution.