Reproductive Freedom Is Under Threat in States Across the Country
For Immediate Release: Wednesday, December 2, 2020
Contact: [email protected]
Washington, DC — Upon taking office in January, President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris are poised to begin undoing the Trump administration’s egregious attacks on reproductive freedom over the last four years.
However, anti-choice state lawmakers across the country remain determined to criminalize abortion—putting the advancement of their unpopular ideology above the health and well-being of the American people, even during a still-raging pandemic. Thanks to the efforts of these anti-choice, anti-freedom legislators as well as Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s efforts to stack the federal judiciary with judges hostile to Roe v. Wade, reproductive freedom remains in jeopardy:
“Anti-choice, anti-freedom lawmakers are determined to do whatever it takes to end the legal right to abortion—and thanks to Trump and Mitch McConnell’s takeover of the federal judiciary, reproductive freedom is in real jeopardy,” said Kristin Ford, national communications director at NARAL Pro-Choice America. “We must remain vigilant as attacks on reproductive freedom continue at the state level and do all that we can to ensure that every body has the freedom to control their own lives, bodies, and futures.”
State lawmakers and judges hostile to our fundamental rights are putting reproductive freedom in danger in states across the country:
- In Arkansas, anti-choice Republicans in the state legislature recently filed legislation to criminalize abortion. The bill’s sponsor said the measure was meant to challenge Roe v. Wade in light of Amy Barrett’s confirmation to the U.S. Supreme Court.
- A federal appeals court allowed Texas and Louisiana to block Medicaid patients from accessing healthcare at Planned Parenthood health centers. According to the Associated Press, though the Fifth Circuit previously blocked Texas and Louisiana’s bans on Medicaid funding for Planned Parenthood, last month’s decision to allow the bans to proceed comes after the addition of six Trump nominees to the court, four of whom participated in this case.
- A federal appeals court allowed provisions of Tennessee’s expansive abortion ban passed earlier this year to go into effect, giving the green light to yet another attempt to chip away at the right to abortion.
- Last week in Nebraska, a law banning a safe and common method of providing abortion care went into effect.
Just before Election Day, Donald Trump and Senate Republicans jammed through the confirmation of Amy Barrett, a judge with a record of hostility towards the legal right to abortion, to the Supreme Court. Barrett’s presence on the Court solidifies an anti-choice supermajority on the bench that could threaten our fundamental rights for decades. Dozens of cases that put Roe and access to abortion care at risk are making their way to the Supreme Court. Barrett has already proven her willingness to be the deciding vote on cases weighing ideology versus science, such as when she voted in last week’s 5-4 decision to block enforcement of New York’s public health guidelines that restricted attendance at houses of worship to prevent COVID-19 transmission.
The confirmation of Trump nominee Brett Kavanaugh, another justice hostile to reproductive freedom, tipped the Court to an anti-choice majority in late 2018. With a newly minted majority opposing abortion rights, anti-choice state lawmakers launched an all-out assault on Roe in hopes that a challenge would make its way to the Court and lead to the rollback of the landmark case. Bans on abortion were introduced, passed, or signed in 31 states in 2019 alone.
For over 50 years, NARAL Pro-Choice America and its network of state affiliates and chapters have fought to protect and advance reproductive freedom—including access to abortion, contraception, and paid family leave—for every body. NARAL is powered by its more than 2.5 million members from every state and congressional district in the country, representing the 7 in 10 Americans who believe every person should have the freedom to make the best decision for themselves about if, when, and how to raise a family.