President Joe Biden signed an executive order Friday designed to expand access to medication abortion and education about legally available abortion options, as well as provide legal backing for people seeking or providing abortions. This order is the most official move in the direction of a clearly defined federal abortion strategy.
As statehouses across the country rush to pass new abortion restrictions ahead of a consequential Supreme Court ruling this summer, Oklahoma lawmakers are trying to restrict abortion access by any and all means necessary.
“Oklahoma is passing every type of abortion ban to give themselves the largest chance possible for one of them to go into effect. They may be essentially hedging their bets,” said Elizabeth Nash, who tracks state policy for the Guttmacher Institute.
Idaho has become the second state to ban abortion after six weeks.
“By the time you get to six weeks into pregnancy, chances are it is very difficult to have gotten an abortion,” said Lisa Humes-Schulz, vice president of policy and regulatory affairs for Planned Parenthood Alliance Advocates Northwest. “It’s not when you find out you become pregnant, but how long it takes you to get an abortion when you find out in idaho. There’s so few providers, a waiting period, you have to travel and raise money. That’s a big task.”
Despite a December ruling allowing legal challenges to proceed, the six-week abortion law out of Texas remains in effect. Where do things currently stand? And where will they go next?
More abortion restrictions have been enacted this year than any other, with 19 statehouses passing 106 new limitations on the procedure. A dozen of the new restrictions include some form of a complete ban on abortion.
This is the first time that the Guttmacher Institute, which has compiled this data annually since 1973, has counted more than 100 abortion restrictions passed in a single year. In 2011, the only other year since 1973 to come close, 89 restrictions on abortion were passed across the country.
Statehouses are on track to pass an unprecedented level of abortion restrictions this year, with 28 signed into law between in seven states between April 26 and April 29—marking the highest number of new restrictions signed in a single week in at least a decade.
A lower court’s decision could open the door for the conservative-majority court to take on the landmark case that guaranteed the constitutional right to an abortion.
For women in academia, the Wall Street Journal op-ed about the future first lady’s title struck a nerve.
“From an early age, girls are socialized to downplay their accomplishments,” said Dr. Zyer Beaty.
The two candidates held competing town halls Thursday on their respective home turfs—Donald Trump in Florida, Joe Biden in Pennsylvania—at the same time on different networks.
Trump’s commitment to picking a woman appears political: Trump’s administration has been criticized for being male-dominated, and his support is dwindling with women voters. That includes white women, who played a key role in his 2016 victory. Picking Amy Coney Barrett is likely an effort to bring them back into the fold.
But when it comes to winning over voters, analysts agreed the strategy appears at the very least ineffective—and potentially counterproductive.