When It Comes to Abortion Bans, ‘Life of the Mother’ Exceptions Are a Lie

This Wednesday, Idaho will attempt to defend its extreme abortion ban at the Supreme Court. Like many other abortion bans in the United States, the Idaho law contains a so-called life exception, which purports to allow an abortion when “necessary to prevent the death” of the pregnant person.

But do these exceptions actually preserve the lives of patients in practice? As Mayron Hollis, Amanda Zurawski, the family of Yeniifer Alvarez-Estrada Glick, and countless other women can attest, the answer is no. And the truth is, they’re not designed to. 

Idaho’s EMTALA Challenge Has Got Women Dead to Rights

On April 24, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in Moyle v. U.S., a case that will determine whether individual states are allowed to exclude a single group from this basic protection: pregnant women.

The state of Idaho claims that it has the right to forbid pregnant women and girls—and only pregnant women and girls—from receiving emergency care that could save their lives.

Will SCOTUS Allow Pregnant Women to Die? Survivors Share ‘Dobbs’-Related Near-Death Experiences with the Court

On April 24, the United States Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in two cases, Idaho v. United States  and Moyle v. United States, about whether states can prohibit doctors from treating women with life-threatening pregnancies until a patient’s condition deteriorates to the point where they are about to die.

Reproductive rights and legal advocates are collecting stories from over 100 women who almost died—and at least one who did—after being denied emergency abortion care.

The Arizona Abortion Fight Is a Reminder That Progress Is Not Linear

April’s U.S. political news admittedly brought many horrors—from Alabama legislators advancing a bill to define sex based on “reproductive systems,” not gender identity; to the U.S. Supreme Court ruling allowing an Idaho ban on gender-affirming care for minors to take effect; to the Arizona Supreme Court upholding an abortion ban from 1864, which opens the door to criminalizing health providers with up to five years of prison time if they provide abortion services. Tucson Mayor Regina Romero called the ruling “a huge step backwards.”

Legal changes in the present may appear to be reversing earlier advancements, as Romero said. But advocates of equity need a better grasp of history so they are realistic about the intermittent successes of movements for social change. The fight for full gender equality is a long game.

Meet the Republican Attorneys General Wreaking Havoc on Abortion Access 

Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) is a veritable legal army of far-right attorneys general. RAGA-member AGs have been especially active in pushing for and enforcing oppressive abortion bans, and are working to fulfill anti-abortion power broker Leonard Leo’s extreme agenda.

Several attorneys general have been especially active in attempting to impose their personal beliefs about abortion on all Americans: Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen, Idaho Attorney General Raúl Labrador, Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch.

Trump’s Abortion Position, Explained

Donald Trump on Monday said he believes abortion should be left to the states. Sidestepping formally endorsing a nationwide ban, the former president’s announcement is already being perceived by some as an attempt to strike a compromise position on a top issue for women voters.

Here’s what Trump’s leave-it-to-the-states abortion position would look like in practice—according to anti-abortion leaders, reproductive rights experts, and Trump himself. In short, it leaves people in abortion states suffering consequences of extreme bans imposed in the wake of the Dobbs decision, and would leave his presidency multiple avenues to highly restrict abortion access nationwide.

The Terrifying Global Reach of the American Anti-Abortion Movement

When performed properly, abortion is considered extremely safe. But nearly half—45 percent—of the 73 million abortions performed worldwide each year are unsafe.

One big reason: American anti-abortion policies.

For decades, the U.S. has used the power of the purse to force poorer nations to abide by the anti-abortion values of American conservatives or forgo aid for family planning and other healthcare—giving women around the globe no alternative but to seek backstreet abortions that send some to emergency rooms and others to their graves.

Advocates Ask Supreme Court to Overturn Dobbs, Citing ‘Tragic Consequences’

On March 29, the Pennsylvania-based Women’s Law Project filed the first-ever amicus brief urging the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the case that reversed Roe v. Wade. The brief argued that Dobbs is “unworkable” because the decision has “subjected people in need of reproductive healthcare to immense suffering and grave danger” and has “ushered in an era of unprecedented legal and doctrinal chaos.”

“It is vitally important to challenge Dobbs at every turn and send a signal that it is not set in stone,” said David Cohen, a constitutional law professor at Drexel Kline School of Law and co-author of the brief. “We will not rest until this terrible decision is overturned.”

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.