‘A crime’ Senate has not codified Roe v Wade, says congresswoman
American women, healthcare providers and pro-choice activists are bracing for Roe v Wade to be overturned as soon as Friday as the US Supreme Court prepares to release case opinions from 10am ET.
The Supreme Court released four case opinions on Thursday morning leaving nine cases remaining ahead of the summer recess at the end of the month, including the widely-anticipated decision on Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health Organization .
The court’s decision in the case is poised to impact the right to abortion access for women across America and backpedal on 50 decades of rights that were codified under Roe v Wade in 1973.
In May, a leaked draft decision showed that the court intended to strike down the precedent with the backing of conservative justices – at least three of whom claimed during their confirmation hearings that they would recognise Roe as precedent rather than oveturning it.
While Democrats rush to protect reproductive rights in their states, some Republican senators are instead focusing on the leak and have called for people who leak Supreme Court decisions before they are publicly released to face up to be 10 years in jail and a fine of $10,000.
US woman denied abortion in Malta
An American woman and her partner will be airlifted to Mallorca, Spain, to end her unviable pregnancy after her request to do so was denied by health authorities in Malta.
Andrea Prudente, 38, and her partner Jay Weeldreyer, 45, will travel to the Spanish island via air ambulance.
Lawyer Lara Dimitrijevic, the head of Women for Choice, confirmed that the couple’s travel insurance has accepted to proceed with the measure as the condition of Ms Prudente is considered “life-threatening”.
They’re expected to leave Malta as soon as Thursday.
Ms Prudente is 16 weeks pregnant and was hospitalised a week ago after her water broke ahead of time, meaning that there’s no amniotic fluid remaining in the womb.
The Independent’s Gustaf Kilander has the full story:
Rachel Sharp24 June 2022 06:45
What the Supreme Court could come for after Roe v Wade
Legal experts and civil rights activists fear that after the Supreme Court overturns Roe v Wade it will overturn other landmark rulings protecting rights like gay marriage.
“I’m terrified and people should be terrified,” says Jim Obergefell, whose lawsuit against the state of Ohio led to the Supreme Court ruling that gay marriage was protected by the US Constitution.
The Independent’s Io Dodd has the full story below:
Rachel Sharp24 June 2022 05:15
Abortion providers rush to train specialists
Abortion providers in conservative-led states are rushing to train new specialists ahead of the Supreme Court’s ruling.
Experts say medical institutions that provide abortion training will face an uncertain future if, as is widely expected, the Supreme Court ends women’s constitutional rights to the procedure.
Aaron Campbell, an obstetrician and gynecologist at the The Knoxville Center for Reproductive Health in Tennessee, toldThe Washington Post an outright ban would have a chilling effect on the ability of women to have access to reproductive health.
“We can pass as many laws as we want, for or against access, but at the end of the day, if you don’t have trained providers, you don’t have choice,” he told The Post.
Dr Campbell has already trained seven students this year, and said he was trying to work with as many trainees as he can prior to final Roe ruling being released.
The Independent’s Bevan Hurley has the full story:
Rachel Sharp24 June 2022 04:30
First Amendment expert casts doubt on GOP claims that protests at justices’ homes are illegal
A First Amendment expert has cast doubt on GOP claims that protests at the homes of Supreme Court justices are illegal.
Kevin Goldberg, First Amendment specialist at the Freedom Forum Institute, told The Independent: “The federal law says that you can’t protest in front of the Supreme Court or a justice’s house if you do it with the intent to influence.
“It would be very hard to prove that a protester was attempting to influence a decision.
“They could say they believe the decision has already been made and that they are protesting the outcome or just protesting in favour of abortion rights… it would be hard to prove what people were thinking when they were protesting.”
He added: “And under the First Amendment, if you don’t know, you can’t punish someone.”
Since the 3 May leak of the Supreme Court draft opinion on Roe v Wade, anti-abortion demonstrators have staged protests outside the homes of the six conservative justices.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell – and other Republicans – have claimed the protests outside their homes “may possibly be flat-out illegal”.
Rachel Sharp24 June 2022 03:45
Hillary Clinton slams Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito
Hillary Clinton has hit out at Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito and warned that many rights are “at risk” if Roe is overturned.
The former Secretary of State spoke out about the impending threat to abortion rights in an interview with the Financial Times, as the nation’s highest court is on the cusp of striking down the landmark ruling.
“The level of insidious rulemaking to further oppress women almost knows no end,” she said.
Ms Clinton blasted Justice Alito, who authored the Supreme Court’s leaked draft majority opinion overturning Roe, as “one of those self-righteous types” who has long railed against “lettting women into the eating clubs”.
“I found Alito was the kind of young man who when he was at Princeton railed against coeducation, railed against letting women into the eating clubs, and that was all in the background that I read,” she said.
“He honestly struck me as one of those very self-righteous types seeking to remake society.”
Rachel Sharp24 June 2022 03:15
South Dakota’s only abortion clinic closes ahead of ruling
The only abortion clinic in South Dakota is halting all procedures ahead of the Supreme Court ruling on the future of Roe v Wade.
In an announcement that deeply saddened activists who had fought to defend access to abortion in one of the nation’s battlefields for reproductive rights, Planned Parenthood said procedures at its facility in Sioux Falls were “paused”.
It said its clinics in Wisconsin were not booking appointments after 25 June.Meanwhile, the news was celebrated by South Dakota’s deeply conservative governor, Kristi Noem, 50, who has been at the forefront of efforts to turn her state into one of America’s abortion deserts, and allegedly make use of her position to prepare for a White House run in 2024.
“While knew this was coming, it was still really devastating,” a 36-year-old activist, who asked to be identified as “Katie” (not her real name) tells The Independent.
“It was actually a lot worse than I think any of us thought it was going to be, just the emotional weight of it.”
The Independent’s Andrew Buncombe has the full story:
Rachel Sharp24 June 2022 02:15
Biden must protect data privacy, says congresswoman
The lack of legislation means the federal government has limited options to push back against abortion bans passed in Republican-controlled states
But there are some options such as Medicaid’s “free choice of provider” requirement and expanding the Title X family planning program.
Rep Judy Chu told The Independent that the president must take action to protect data privacy of women seeking abortions so that law enforcement agencies can’t use it to prosecute women.
“The other thing that we want President Biden to do is to make sure that the data privacy of those seeking reproductive healthcare, including abortions, is protected,” she said.
“Because there are those states that want to access this data, want to get the names and the addresses and numbers of those seeking abortions, and then seek to criminalize the abortion patients and providers.”
Rachel Sharp24 June 2022 01:30
Supreme Court security under spotlight
On 8 June, a 26-year-old man unhappy allegedly confessed to plotting to murder Justice Brett Kavanaugh because he was angry with the conservative justice’s potential ruling on Roe v Wade.
Nicholas Roske allegedly travelled from his home in California to the conservative justice’s home in Chevy Chase, Maryland, in the early hours of the morning to assassinate the Donald Trump-appointed justice and then kill himself.
He was captured outside Justice Kavanaugh’s home after he called 911 on himself.
The plot thrust the issue around the security of the Supreme Court justices into the national spotlight and sparked debates around both the need for protection for the justices and every American’s First Amendment right to protest at a time when the Supreme Court justices are on the brink of handing down a ruling that could overturn Roe v Wade.
Since the leak of the draft opinion, pro-choice protesters have staged demonstrations outside the homes of the six conservative justices.
The Department of Justice has ramped up security for each of the nine members.
And, lawmakers hurriedly passed a bill to expand round-the-clock security to include the justices’ family members.
The Independent’s Rachel Sharp has the full story:
Rachel Sharp24 June 2022 00:45
US braces for possible Roe v Wade ruling on Friday
The US is now bracing for the Supreme Court to possibly strike down Roe v Wade as soon as Friday after the nation’s highest court marked 24 June as an opinion issuance day.
There are nine case rulings left to be released before the court goes on summer recess at the end of June or early July.
The court will start releasing opinions on its website at 10am ET.
Rachel Sharp24 June 2022 00:00
What is Roe v Wade?
The case centred around Norma McCorvey – known for the purposes of the proceedings as “Jane Roe” – who became pregnant with her third child in Texas in 1969 but was unable to access abortion care after it was banned in her state in all cases but to “save a woman’s life.”
She filed a lawsuit against her local district attorney Henry Wade, alleging that the state’s abortion laws were unconstitutional.
In 1973, the case reached the Supreme Court which ruled 7- in Ms McCorvey’s favour, saying that a woman’s right to access abortion is protected by America’s 14th Amendment “right to privacy”.
The decision also set a legal precedent that affected more than 30 subsequent Supreme Court cases involving restrictions on access to abortion.
Rachel Sharp23 June 2022 23:30