UPDATE: The governor of Oklahoma vetoed a controversial bill that would make abortions a felony, according to the Washington Post. In a statement, the pro-life Mary Fallin said: “The bill is so ambiguous and so vague that doctors cannot be certain what medical circumstances would be considered ‘necessary to preserve the life of the mother’.”
Before Fallin vetoed the legislation, we reported that lawmakers in the state passed a new bill that would make performing an abortion a felony. The only exception, would be in cases where the mother’s life is in danger. Anyone found guilty under the new proposed law could spend three years in prison.
If Fallin had signed the bill, it would've sparked an inevitable legal battle challenging the Supreme Court’s protection of abortion rights under Roe v. Wade.
Traditionally, states have been able to pass laws that prevent or limit access to abortions after the point of “viability,” currently thought to be as young as around 22 weeks. It’s the point at which the babies could survive outside of the mother’s womb. However, the Supreme Court’s decision in the case of Roe v. Wade indicates that the government can’t put an “undue burden” on abortion access up to that point.
The new bill’s sponsor, Republican Sen. Nathan Dahm, told the AP that its goal is to challenge current federal abortion law:
Since I believe life begins at conception, it should be protected, and I believe it's a core function of state government to defend that life from the beginning of conception.
The World Health Organization and the Guttmacher Institute have just revealed the results of a shocking new study that found that around the world, 25% of all pregnancies now end in abortion.
The researchers, whose data was published in The Lancet, found an unexpected rise in the number of abortions taking place in recent years, from 50 million annually during the four year period of 1990 - 1994 to 56 million during the period between 2010 - 2014.
Notably, the research found the highest numbers of abortions in Latin America, where one in every three pregnancies are aborted. The most significant raises in numbers across the world were in developing countries.
Also notable was a stark drop in abortions in developed countries including the United States, Canada and parts of Europe, where they have reached three-decade lows.
One of the interesting findings was also the lack of correlation between abortion being illegal and the number of actual abortions performed. Essentially, according to the researchers, making abortion illegal does not make it less prevalent in many parts of the world, meaning women seeking abortions will have them performed illegally if they want the procedure. Discuss
In most states in America, at least one abortion provider closes every two weeks, the fastest rate since it became legal in 1973. According to a new report from Bloomberg Business, in the last five years, 21 new abortion providers have opened, but across the country, at least 162 have been closed down. The primary reason is due to conservative lawmakers passing new legislation that makes it more and more difficult for providers to operate. In Texas alone, at least 30 clinics have closed down.
The number of abortions performed in America has continued to decline dramatically in recent years. From 2010 to 2015, the abortion rate fell by 12% nationwide. Ironically, recent numbers from Gallup show that in 2015, for the first time in seven years, more Americans call themselves “pro-choice” than say they are “pro-life.” Discuss
In Houston, Texas, a grand jury that was investigating claims of illegal behavior on the part of Planned Parenthood have instead indicted the two abortion adversaries behind the undercover Planned Parenthood videos. The charges laid against the vigilante filmmakers are tampering with a governmental record, which is a felony, and charges related to purchasing human organs. David R. Daleiden, the director of the anti-abortion group Center for Medical Progress, posed as a biotechnology representative interested in purchasing fetal tissue in a sting operation that was, of course, secretly filmed. A Center for Medical Progress employee, Sandra S. Merritt, was indicted with a felony charge for tampering with a governmental record. That charge accuses Merrit of making fake California driver's licenses for their meeting with Planned Parenthood officials.
Abortion opponents claimed the videos that were released in July of 2015 showed Planned Parenthood engaging in the illegal sale of fetal parts. The organization denied the accusations, and formal investigations by the states and congress found them innocent of any wrongdoing. Planned Parenthood issued an apology for the casual tone that one of its officials used while discussing a possible transfer of fetal tissue to the fake biotech company. But, they insisted the fees being discussed were to cover costs and were legal.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott told The New York Times that the inspector general of the state’s Health and Human Services Commission and the Texas attorney general’s office will continue to investigate Planned Parenthood’s actions. “Nothing about today’s announcement in Harris County impacts the state’s ongoing investigation. The State of Texas will continue to protect life, and I will continue to support legislation prohibiting the sale or transfer of fetal tissue,” Abbott said in a statement. The state attorney general, Ken Paxton, said: “The fact remains that the videos exposed the horrific nature of abortion and the shameful disregard for human life of the abortion industry. The state’s investigation of Planned Parenthood is ongoing.” Discuss