Abortion Cases and State Legislative Action

Supreme Court: The high court will review rulings that barred the anti-abortion group Operation Rescue from blocking access to nine abortion clinics in Virginia. The 4th US Circuit Court of Appeals previously ruled that the group interfered with the interstate travel rights of women who sought abortions in Virginia, but did not live in the state. Appellate Court level: Restrictive abortion laws from Pennsylvania and the US territory of Guam are being argued on this level. Two other laws, one from Maryland, and one from Utah, are expected to reach federal courts soon. These laws impose procedural obstacles to abortion, or limit abortion to only those cases in which the health of the fetus or pregnant woman is threatened.

South Dakota: Senate is debating a bill that would outlaw abortion except in cases of rape, incest, or when the health of the fetus or pregnant woman is in danger.

Missouri, Louisiana, Alabama, and South Carolina: Bills similar to the South Dakota legislation are expected this year.

Iowa, Wisconsin, Kansas, New Mexico, and New Hampshire: Bills focusing on parental notification and consent requirements for teenagers, or spousal notification, are expected this year.

Ohio, Mississippi, Nebraska, and Michigan: Bills requiring doctors to inform patients of the effects of abortions, or mandating waiting periods or other procedural obstacles prior to the abortion, are expected this year.

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