Abortion access under renewed threat in Oklahoma and Missouri

The bill heads to Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt, who has pledged to sign all laws limiting abortion that come to his desk.

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

This week, Oklahoma Republicans also took another step toward passing the “Oklahoma Heartbeat Act,” modeled on a Texas law, which bans abortions around six weeks of pregnancy and allows citizens take civil action against abortion providers to enforce the law. It’s just one of two copycat Texas bills being considered by the Sooner State.
Opponents of abortion applauded the bill’s passage, while abortion rights advocates warned the move would create a crisis in the region as out-of-state patients, including a large increase in the number of Texans, seeking an abortion, travel to Oklahoma.

Maryland Governor Vetoes Bill Expanding Abortion Access

Republican Governor Larry Hogan of Maryland on Friday vetoed a bill that would expand abortion access in the state.

His veto returns the bill to the legislature to consider his objections. Democrats, who control both the House of Delegates and the state Senate, will need the support of three-fifths of both chambers to override Hogan’s veto.

Hogan opposed the bill, saying in a letter, “As governor, I have upheld my commitment not to take any action that would affect Maryland law as it pertains to reproductive rights. With this action, I am reaffirming that commitment.” .

House Bill 937, titled the Access to Abortion Care Act, would allow more health professionals to perform an abortion procedure, rather than just one licensed physician, and would establish a state program to train to more and diversify providers of abortion services.

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

Missouri House Passes Broadly Restrictive Anti-Abortion Bill

The Missouri House of Representatives, where Republicans have a majority of more than 2-1, passed a sweeping bill on Wednesday that would ban abortion-inducing drugs through the mail, defund Planned Parenthood clinics in the state and allow Family members file wrongful death lawsuits in the rare cases of a live birth during or after an attempted abortion when the baby is subsequently injured or dies as a result of the abortion.

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

The 2012 House Bill would enact a Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, which would require a health care provider to offer the same degree of life-saving care after an attempted abortion. abortion that a provider would offer to a baby born in the same gestational period. age. Other states, including Kentucky and Ohio, have enacted similar laws.

Under the bill, a person who commits sexual assault or domestic violence would not be allowed to bring such lawsuits or be awarded damages, and neither would members of that person’s household or family.

The legislative package passed in a 91-37 vote without discussion on Wednesday and now heads 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 Act.

Kentucky Governor Vetoes Comprehensive Abortion Bill

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

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

The bill, he said, “requires physicians who perform non-surgical procedures to maintain hospital admitting privileges in geographic proximity to the location where the procedure is performed. The Supreme Court has ruled that such requirements are unconstitutional because it makes it impossible women, including a child who is a victim of rape or incest, to obtain a procedure in certain areas of the state.”

The legislation places a number of restrictions on medications used in medical abortion, such as mifepristone. Under the bill, the drug could not be administered to a patient without obtaining “informed consent” from the patient at least 24 hours in advance, which would include signing a document “created by the cabinet.”

It would also amend the law dealing with minor abortions so that only an attending physician, not an agent, can obtain written consent, and would require that the consenting parent or legal guardian “have made a reasonable to notify” any other parent with joint or physical custody at least 48 hours before giving consent.

Despite the governor’s veto, the state legislature may vote to override the veto next week. Republicans have massive majorities in both chambers.

Michigan Governor Files Lawsuit to Protect Abortion Rights

Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan filed a lawsuit Thursday to challenge the state’s nearly century-old abortion ban, which is unenforceable because of Roe v. Wade.

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

“We have to take this current assault on women’s rights seriously and use every tool we have to fight back. This is not just a theoretical risk. It’s a real and present danger. And that’s why I filed this lawsuit,” Whitmer said. she told “The Source with Kasie Hunt” on CNN+.

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

Nebraska ‘trigger’ bill banning abortion fails to move forward

In a notable victory for abortion-rights advocates, Nebraska’s unicameral legislature failed Wednesday to advance a bill titled the Nebraska Human Life Protection Act, which aimed to ban abortions statewide if the US Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade.

Republican state Sen. 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, called the abortion trigger bill, would have gone into effect if the US Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade or if Congress passed a law giving states the authority to regulate abortion or if the Constitution were changed. modified. It would have banned abortions without exceptions for rape and incest and would have created criminal penalties for doctors who break the law.

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

Colorado Governor Signs Bill Codifying Abortion Rights

As surrounding red states seek to restrict abortion, Colorado Gov. Jared Polis, a Democrat, signed a bill Monday that codifies 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 give birth or have an abortion and make decisions about how to exercise that 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 restrictions on abortion.

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

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

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