Several US states immediately banned abortion following Roe’s decision
Pro-life protesters hold signs in front of the US Supreme Court as they await its decision on the legality of the Republican-backed Louisiana law that bans abortion doctors in Washington, US, June 22, 2020.
Kevin Lamarck | Reuters
Several US states on Friday immediately banned abortion in the wake of the Supreme Court ruling that overturned Roe v. Wade.
The High Court ruling ended half a century of constitutionally protected abortion rights, meaning states would now be allowed to regulate the procedure. At least 13 states have laws on the books that either immediately ban abortion or will do so soon.
Abortion bans in Louisiana, Missouri, Kentucky and South Dakota went into effect immediately. The laws make abortion an offense punishable with a prison sentence of up to one year. However, according to the text of the laws, women cannot be prosecuted for obtaining an abortion.
In Louisiana, anyone who performs an abortion will face one to 10 years in prison, with exceptions for physicians to protect the mother’s life, terminate an ectopic pregnancy, or remove a fetus that is no longer alive. Is. It does not make exceptions for cases of rape or incest. Democratic Governor John Bel Edwards signed the legislation earlier this week.
In Missouri, anyone who has an abortion will face a prison sentence of 5 to 15 years, unless the procedure is performed in case of a medical emergency.
In Kentucky, anyone who has an abortion will face between one and five years in prison. The law makes exceptions for procedures to save the mother’s life or by physicians that result in the unintentional termination of pregnancy. It does not make exceptions for rape or incest. Gov. Andy Beshear, a Democrat, denounced the law as extremist.
Anyone who has an abortion in South Dakota now faces up to two years in prison, unless the procedure is done to protect the life of the mother. It also does not make exceptions for rape and incest.
Idaho, Tennessee and Texas will enforce abortion restrictions in 30 days according to the text of the laws. Abortion restrictions in Arkansas, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Utah and Wyoming apply after the attorney general, governor, or certain legislative bodies certify that the Supreme Court has removed the row.
On Friday, US Attorney General Merrick Garland said the Justice Department would protect women who travel from restricted states to obtain abortions in states where the procedure is legal.
Garland said, “There are few rights more central to individual liberty than the right to control one’s own body. The Department of Justice will use every tool at our disposal to protect reproductive freedom. And we will defend the civil rights of all Americans.” Will not shy away from the responsibility of setting up this department for defence.”
The Abortion Pill The Next Flashpoint
States that ban abortions are also outlawing the use of the abortion pill to terminate pregnancies. However, women cannot be penalized under the laws for having an abortion, which means many people may turn to online pharmacies located overseas to have the pill delivered to their homes.
The abortion pill, mifepristone, is approved in the US to terminate pregnancies before the 10th week of pregnancy. The Food and Drug Administration first approved the drug in 2000, but women were required to receive it individually under a program that monitored certain drugs for safety risks. Abortion rights advocates sharply criticized the FDA requirements, arguing that mifepristone had a long and proven track record as a safe and effective way to terminate an early pregnancy.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic last year, the FDA temporarily removed the requirement that women must receive the pill in person. In December, the agency permanently eliminated the in-person requirement, which would allow certified pharmacies in the US to fill out and send prescriptions by mail.
Garland said states cannot ban mifepristone based on disagreement with the FDA’s decision that the drug is safe and effective. US Health Secretary Javier Becerra said his department would use “every lever” to protect access to abortion care, including the pill.
Drug abortion has become increasingly common in the US, according to the Guttmacher Institute’s survey of all known providers in the US, more than half of abortions in the US occur with the pill.
Although state restrictions do not penalize women who obtain abortions, there are cases where people have been reported to the authorities for trying to terminate their pregnancies.
In April, a woman in South Texas was charged with murder following an allegedly self-induced abortion. The district attorney eventually dismissed the indictment, saying it was clear that “he cannot and should not be prosecuted for the charges.”