Supreme Court Appears Poised to Overturn Roe
In May, Politico released a leaked draft majority opinion in the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization case that would eliminate the constitutional right to abortion established nearly 50 years ago in Roe v. Wade. Though this decision is not yet final and abortion remains legal, it would ultimately open the floodgates for states across the country to ban abortion and have devastating consequences.
If Roe v. Wade is overturned, 26 states are poised to move quickly to ban abortion — including 13 states with laws that would immediately go into effect. That means that the majority of people in this country would not be able to access a safe and legal abortion procedure.
A final decision on Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization could come at any moment. In the meantime, Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest is preparing for an influx of out of state patients and providing safe and compassionate care to all.
We are not backing down, and we’re going to continue to fight until all people can decide if and when to start a family. Learn more and take action at voteforchoice.org/takeaction.
Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson Confirmation
On February 25, President Biden nominated Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to serve as an Associate Justice on the United States Supreme Court. The Senate Judiciary Committee held four days of confirmation hearings during the week of March 21. On April 4, following a deadlocked vote in the Judiciary Committee, the Senate voted to advance her nomination to the Senate floor for a vote. Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson was confirmed on April 7 by the Senate in a 53-47 vote. When she is sworn in, Justice Jackson will be the first ever Black woman to serve on the nation’s highest court. For more information, please visit SCOTUSblog.
Anti-Abortion Senators Shamefully Block National Abortion Rights Legislation as SCOTUS Prepares to Overturn Roe v. Wade
On May 11, the Senate voted against moving forward with the Women’s Health Protection Act (WHPA), which would codify abortion rights into federal law, blocking the measure in a 49-51 vote with the Supreme Court expected to overturn Roe v. Wade in the coming weeks. WHPA would have enshrined the right to an abortion, as well as outlawed many common restrictions on the procedure like waiting periods and restrictions on medication abortion, which states have imposed even with Roe in place.
Updates on Abortion Bans
Arizona Governor Signed SB 1164, A 15-Week Abortion Ban
In March, Governor Doug Ducey signed legislation banning abortion at 15 weeks, except in cases of life endangerment or severe physical health conditions. Abortion reporting requirements in Arizona must now include information on the medical reason for the abortion and the likely health outcomes of the procedure. The bill is scheduled to go into effect in July.
Florida Governor Signed HB 5, A 15-Week Abortion Ban
In April, Governor Ron DeSantis signed legislation that bans abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy except in cases of life endangerment, severe physical health conditions or a fatal fetal anomaly. The bill is scheduled to go into effect on July 1. On June 1, Planned Parenthood Federation of America along with other Florida abortion providers and health centers filed a lawsuit asking the court to block the ban from taking effect.
Kentucky Legislature Moved Forward with HB 3
In April, the Kentucky legislature overrode Governor Andy Beshear’s veto of legislation that contains several abortion restrictions. The law bans abortion at 15 weeks of pregnancy and amends several requirements to the current state law process to obtain an abortion without parental consent. Additionally, this legislation restricts medication abortion access, requires extensive and uneccesary reporting, including the filing of “birth-death certificates” for abortions performed after 20 weeks of pregnancy. The law also adds new regulatory requirements, and prohibits public funds from going to an organization that provides or counsels for abortion.
Oklahoma Governor Signed HB 4327, Banning Abortion
In May, Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt signed HB 4327 into law, a citizen-enforced total ban on abortion that took effect immediately upon signature. Oklahoma has become the first and only state to completely outlaw abortion while Roe still stands.
This will worsen the abortion access crisis in a region that is already grappling with the loss of most care in Texas. Now, patients will be forced to travel even further for care. Planned Parenthood and the Center for Reproductive Rights will challenge this ban along with two others signed by Governor Stitt this session. But unless the Oklahoma Supreme Court takes action, access will remain blocked.
For additional information, visit the Guttmacher Institute’s State Legislation Tracker.