RePro Roe-D-O; 25May2023

May 25, 2023

Longhorn uterus morph

Three more states tighten abortion restrictions. The fight rises up to the highest court in Montana and a small town in New Mexico. Florida brings RICO charges against abortion activists. While the rest of us wait on the mifepristone decision. Grab the reigns for another roundup of our reproductive rights hellscape in post-Roe ‘Merica..

South Carolina Clinches 6 week Ban

After failing on a near total abortion ban last month, South Carolina has now passed a “compromise” 6-week abortion ban. 

Republican Gov. Henry McMaster signed it into law earlier today.

Like other “heartbeat laws”, the ban prohibits abortions after fetal cardiac activity is detected – typically around six weeks of pregnancy.

It includes exceptions for rape, incest and to save the life of the mother.

Women are the Resistance

The only women senators: three Republicans, one Democrat, and one independent, have banded together to fight against the bill.

These “sister senators,” are all religious mothers and are certain this bill would be bad for women in the state.

They all identify as “pro-life”, too, underscoring the extreme nature of the bill.

Conclusion: we need more women in leadership in South Carolina!

Nebraska Passes 12 Week Ban & Gender Healthcare Restrictions

Meanwhile in Nebraska, Republican Gov. Jim Pillen doubles down on oppression. He signed a new law which includes a 12-week abortion ban and restricts gender-affirming care for people younger than 19 (considered minors in Nebraska). 

“It’s about protecting our kids and saving babies. Pure and simple,” Pillen said…  Um, where are the gun control laws, then?

The abortion ban takes effect immediately! It includes exceptions for rape, incest and to save the life of the mother.

The anti-trans part will take effect in October, and will restrict hormone treatments and puberty blockers in people under 19.

It also prevents minors from receiving gender-confirming surgery.

The law puts the state’s chief medical officer (a political appointee) in charge of setting gender-affirming therapy rules.

Nebraska is now among 18 states that have enacted laws restricting or banning gender-affirming medical care for minors. 

Opponents have promised to sue to try and block the law.

Mindy Rush Chipman, head of ACLU of Nebraska, vowed that “every option is on the table to undo these regressive measures.”

North Carolina Overrides Gov. Cooper’s Veto

In the last RePro Roe-D-O, we celebrated Gov. Cooper’s veto of the 12 week abortion ban in NC. We were even hopeful that if just one lawmaker backed off, they would not be able to override the veto. 

Welp, they pushed through the vote to override the veto within only 48 hours after the veto itself.  I guess they are in a hurry to oppress women in North Carolina..

Previously democratic representative Tricia Cotham voted against abortion AGAIN!

The law will go into effect July 1st

Next month, it will be nearly impossible to get an abortion in the South without crossing multiple state lines. 

Virginia is the last state in the South without abortion restrictions.

And if the court blocks mifepristone from the market in all 50 states, it will be extremely bleak for Southern women.

Abortion Laws by State as of May 23, 2023;  date by NBC News, Center for Reproductive Rights, and State Legislation.

Ohio Holds Special Election to Thwart the People’s Will

Ohio will spend $20 million to hold a special election this summer just to try to increase the voting margin required to amend the state constitution. Why would they do this? Well, they want to make the NEXT ballot initiative on abortion impossible to win. 

This August, Ohio voters will vote on whether to make it more difficult to amend the state constitution. 

The threshold for passing future constitutional amendments could be raised to a 60% supermajority. 

Republicans want to raise the threshold in order to block an incoming abortion protection bill.    

Ironically, the vote to raise the threshold will pass with just a simple majority of 50%-plus-one.  That would make the November election of abortion protections in the state constitution require the supermajority. 

We see you Ohio, and we know what you are trying to do.  Hopefully Ohioans will get to the ballot box this summer – and again in November to protect abortion in the state. 

Montana’s SC Saves Abortion For Now..

Montana’s Supreme Court unanimously rejects ‘excessive governmental interference’ in women’s lives. 

The high court struck down a state law barring advanced practice registered nurses from performing abortions. 

The court ruled that Montanans’ have a right under the state constitution to seek abortion care from any qualified provider.

All Families Healthcare, Blue Mountain Clinic, and Planned Parenthood of Montana brought the initial lawsuit.

The lawsuit argued that a Montana administrative rule which eliminated abortion access for Montanans insured through Medicaid violates the Montana Constitution, where Medicaid is required to cover “medically necessary” care, including abortion care.

The fight Continues 

Gov. Greg Gianforte signed a package of abortion restrictions into law in early May, including a 15 week abortion ban. 

One of these bills says the privacy right enshrined in the state Constitution does not include the right to an abortion — which is opposite of a 1999 Montana Supreme Court ruling.

These new laws are sure to make their way back up to the state’s highest court in the coming months.

Watch this space..

Edgewood, NM Moves for Town-Vigilante Law

New Mexico passed House Bill 7 at the end of March, aka the Reproductive and Gender Affirming Health Care Freedom Act.  The law protects a person’s right to access reproductive healthcare in the state.  YAY!

Now the small town of Edgewood has passed an ordinance to restrict abortion within the city limits. 

The law bans mailing abortion medication within the town limits.  The law puts the onus on the people to enforce it by turning in their neighbors.

Edgewood residents fight back. 

Pro-choice advocates are taking a public stand, trying to get enough signatures to overturn the ordinance and force an election within 90 days.

The deadline is tomorrow (May 26th) to get 242 signatures. 

DeSantis Uses RICO Act to Come for Abortion Activists

Florida comes for abortion activists with civil Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) charges. This is on top of federal charges that carry a 12-year sentence and fines up to $170k for EACH of the 4 defendants.

In a move to appease the far right, the Biden administration leveled severe charges against abortion rights defenders in Florida.

The charge? They spray-painted “Jane’s Revenge” on a so-called “Crisis Pregnancy Center” (i.e. fake abortion clinic) in Miami. 

As if the federal charges aren’t enough (which carry a 12 year sentence), now the fake clinic, is alleging that the four activists were engaged in a conspiracy! 

In a true ironic move, the initial charges by the Biden administration were brought under the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances, or FACE, Act against reproductive rights activists. 

Thanks to forum shopping, the charges will be heard in the ultra-conservative Middle District of Florida, where the activists are sure to get a harsher punishment. 

Stay Vigilant Out There ‘Merica!

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