Access to abortion under renewed threat in Oklahoma and Missouri

The bill is headed for Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt, who has pledged to sign every piece of abortion-restricting legislation that comes to his desk.

Senate Bill 612 would make abortion or attempted abortion a felony punishable by a maximum fine of $100,000 or a maximum of 10 years in state prison, or both. The pregnant person who requested the abortion would not be criminally charged or convicted for seeking or obtaining the procedure.

This week, Republicans in Oklahoma also took a step closer to passing the “Oklahoma Heartbeat Act”, inspired by a Texas law, which bans abortions around six weeks of pregnancy and allows citizens deprived of taking civil action against abortion providers to enforce the law. This is just one of two Texas-mimicking bills being considered by the Sooner State.
Those who oppose abortion cheered the bill’s passage, while abortion rights advocates warned the measure would create a crisis in the region as out-of-state patients, including a huge increase in the number of Texans seeking abortions, would travel to Oklahoma.

Maryland Legislature Overrides Governor’s Veto on Bill Expanding Abortion Access

Maryland’s Democratic-controlled General Assembly voted on Saturday to override Republican Gov. Larry Hogan’s veto of a bill that would expand abortion access in the state.

House Bill 937, titled the Abortion Care Access Act, will allow more medical professionals to perform an abortion procedure, rather than just a licensed doctor, and will establish a state program to further train and diversify abortion providers.

The legislation will also require most health insurers and the Maryland Medical Assistance Program to cover abortion care services.

The bill will come into force on July 1, while the bill’s insurance provisions must be met by January 2023.

Hogan had vetoed the bill on Friday, arguing that the bill “endangers women’s health and lives by allowing non-doctors to perform abortions.”

Missouri House passes broadly restrictive anti-abortion bill

The Missouri House, where Republicans have a more than 2-1 majority, passed a sweeping bill on Wednesday that would ban the mailing of abortion drugs, fund family planning clinics in the state and allow members family to sue for wrongful death in the rare case of live birth during or after an attempted abortion when the baby is injured or subsequently dies as a result of the abortion.

A provision of the law would also criminalize “trafficking in abortive drugs”, stating that “a person or entity commits the offense of trafficking in abortive drugs if that person or entity imports, exports, distributes, delivers, manufactures, produces, prescribes, administers, or dispenses”—or attempts to do—”any medication, drug, or other substance to be used for the purpose of inducing an abortion…on another person in violation of any state or federal law. “

House Bill 2012 would enact a live-born abortion survivor protection law, under which a health care provider would be required to provide the same level of life-saving care following an attempted abortion as ‘a provider would offer a baby otherwise born at the same gestational age. Other states, including Kentucky and Ohio, have passed similar legislation.

According to the bill, a person who commits sexual assault or domestic violence would not be allowed to bring such lawsuits or obtain damages, nor would the household or their family members.

The legislative package passed a 91-37 vote without discussion on Wednesday and is now heading to the state Senate.

A Missouri Senate committee also held a hearing Wednesday on eight abortion-related proposals, including a bill that would establish the Missouri abortion abolition law.

Kentucky governor vetoes abortion bill

Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear of Kentucky on Friday vetoed a sweeping bill that would have banned most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy, restricted access to medical abortion and made it harder for a minor to get an abortion in the state. The legislation does not provide exceptions for cases of rape or incest.

Beshear said in a veto letter signed Friday that House Bill 3 was “probably unconstitutional.”

The bill, he said, “requires physicians who perform non-surgical procedures to maintain hospital admitting privileges in geographic proximity to where the procedure is performed. The Supreme Court has ruled these unconstitutional requirements as they make it impossible for women, including a child who is a victim of rape or incest, to obtain proceedings in certain areas of the state.

The legislation imposes a number of restrictions on the drugs used in a medical abortion, such as mifepristone. Under the bill, the drug could not be given to a patient without obtaining their “informed consent” at least 24 hours in advance, which would include signing a “office-created” document.

It would also change the law that deals with minors obtaining abortions so that only a treating physician, not an agent, can obtain written consent, and it would require the consenting parent or legal guardian “to have made a reasonable attempt to give notice”. any other parent with joint or physical custody at least 48 hours before giving consent.

Despite the governor’s veto, the state legislature can vote to override the veto next week. Republicans hold massive majorities in both houses.

Michigan Governor Files Lawsuit to Protect Abortion Rights

Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan filed a lawsuit Thursday challenging the nearly century-old abortion ban, which is unenforceable due to Roe v. Wade.

The lawsuit asks the state Supreme Court to rule on the constitutionality of abortion.

“We must take this current attack on women’s rights seriously and use all the tools at our disposal to fight back. It is not just a theoretical risk. It is a real and present danger. And that is why I ‘ve filed this lawsuit,” Whitmer said. told “The Source with Kasie Hunt” on CNN+.

According to an official in Whitmer’s office, if Roe v. Wade is overturned and Michigan’s abortion law of 1931 goes into effect, the state of Wolverine would have one of the most extreme abortion laws in the nation.

Nebraska ‘trigger’ bill banning abortion stalls

In a notable victory for abortion rights advocates, Nebraska’s unicameral legislature on Wednesday failed to introduce a bill titled the Nebraska Human Life Protection Act, which sought to ban abortions statewide if the Court Supreme Court of the United States overthrew Roe v. Wade.

Republican Senator Joni Albrecht’s motion to end debate on the bill she introduced failed by a vote of 31 to 15, short of the two votes needed. Lawmakers had debated the bill for about eight hours.

The bill, a so-called trigger abortion bill, would have gone into effect if the U.S. Supreme Court were to overturn Roe v. Wade or whether Congress should enact legislation giving states the power to regulate abortion or whether the Constitution should be amended. It would have banned abortions without exception for rape and incest and created criminal penalties for doctors who violate the law.

“I’m proud of everyone who came together to say that this ban, and the way the bill was written, was wrong,” Democratic Senator Megan Hunt said after the vote.

Colorado governor signs bill codifying abortion rights

As surrounding red states seek to restrict abortion, Colorado Governor Jared Polis, a Democrat, on Monday signed a bill codifying abortion rights in the state.

The Reproductive Health Equity Act states that “everyone has the fundamental right to make decisions about their reproductive health care, including the fundamental right to use or refuse contraception; a pregnant person has the fundamental right to continue a pregnancy and to give birth or have an abortion and to make decisions about how to exercise this right; and a fertilized egg, embryo, or fetus has no independent or derivative rights under state law. »

The law also prevents local entities from enacting their own abortion restrictions.

According to Planned Parenthood, Planned Parenthood clinics in Colorado saw an increase of more than 1,000% in the number of abortion patients in Texas after that state’s six-week ban went into effect in September 2021 until the end of the year, compared to previous years.

CNN’s Kate Sullivan, Rebekah Riess, Shawna Mizelle and Amy Simonson contributed to this report.

About Charles D. Goolsby

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