Is abortion currently banned in the United States? It depends on where you reside.
In the United States and its territories, abortion regulation is mostly set by individual states and varies greatly from place to place. Regarding abortion rights in the US, it is said that Elective abortion is legal at any stage of pregnancy in certain states but is prohibited in others unless the mother would die from carrying the child to term. The topic of abortion rights is incredibly contentious and polarizing in American politics, culture, and society. Since 1976, the Republican Party has largely pushed to criminalize or restrict access to abortion based on the stage of pregnancy, while the Democratic Party has generally supported access to abortion and made contraception more widely available.
Although most Americans are found to agree with certain principles of both sides, the key actors in the abortion issue are sometimes portrayed as “pro-choice,” thinking that a woman is allowed to choose whether to continue her pregnancy, and “pro-life,” believing that the fetus has a right to life. Throughout America, we saw numerous people out for abortion rights protests and flashing abortion rights signs such as “Keep Abortion Safe and Legal.” As Republican states adopt laws prohibiting or severely limiting abortion, the president met with nine Democratic governors to discuss how to safeguard access to the procedure.
In a videoconference with nine governors to discuss strategy, Biden declared that he will do all in his power to assist girls and women in getting abortions, regardless of where they reside. He claimed to have recently spoken with Attorney General Merrick Garland, and the two agreed that two workarounds—obtaining an abortion medicine from a clinician outside of the state or crossing a state border to obtain an abortion—would be protected.
Governors said they were seeking to include abortion rights in the state constitutions of their respective states. Gov. Kathy Hochul stated that New York was prepared to proceed on that Friday, while Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham stated that New Mexico had repealed an abortion prohibition last year in anticipation of the high court’s decision. The concept of performing abortions on federal property, such as military bases and veterans’ hospitals, even in states where the practice is prohibited, was also brought up by governors. Grisham urged that abortions be carried out in Indian Health Service facilities as well.
The Republican-majority legislature in North Carolina, according to Governor Roy Cooper, will not vote to entrench abortion rights, but he promised to use his veto power to maintain access. According to Cooper, the state’s Planned Parenthood facilities have already scheduled 192 out-of-state patients for abortions in the coming week alone, with an estimated 10,000 out-of-staters annually. That is not only burdensome for those who might struggle to get the money or time off of work to travel, but it also adds to the workload for clinics in places where abortion is permitted, according to him.
Although Biden openly admitted that the numbers were not there, he supported the notion of creating a filibuster exemption to allow for the passage of a bill codifying abortion rights on a national level. The rules’ change is opposed by two Democratic senators, Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona and Joe Manchin of West Virginia. In order to enact a law ensuring access to abortion regardless of the patient’s location, he pleaded with Democrats to vote for more Democrats since failing to do so would result in their losing control of the House and Senate in this fall’s elections. Despite state limitations or outright prohibitions on abortion, the Biden administration is increasing access to the procedure.
However, the executive branch’s authority is constrained because of the broad discretion the Supreme Court last week granted. Cabinet secretaries reminded health insurance providers and group health plans of their constitutional duty to offer free access to contraception in a letter sent to them earlier this week. To warn them of the consequences of non-compliance, the departments (Health and Human Services, Treasury, and Labour) also called a meeting with national leaders.
While this was going on, the Office of Personnel Management released guidelines stating that federal employees might use sick time to travel for medical care, even going to a state where abortion is still allowed. According to a fact sheet from the White House, federal employees are also permitted to use their own sick days to fly a family member to another state for medical treatment, even an abortion.
What is the current status of abortion rights for women in the US?
Abortion is now illegal in at least eight states, as restrictions on the operation go into force as a result of the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. More restrictions are likely in the coming weeks, and the battle for abortion access is being fought in courtrooms around the country, where activists have filed challenges to prevent the execution of legislation restricting the procedure.