US: Abortion groups turn to state legal fights after Roe ruling
The US Supreme Court decision to end the constitutional right to abortion is setting up a legal fight in some key states where lawmakers plan to enact bans before gubernatorial and congressional elections later this year.
Advocates for women’s reproductive rights have filed suits in Michigan and Florida to preserve abortion rights, and another is planned in Ohio. The Supreme Court on Friday overturned the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, leaving it up to the states to make their own rules.
“More than half the states across the country are expected to quickly move to ban abortion, plunging 36 million women and other people who can become pregnant into a public health and civil liberties crisis,” the American Civil Liberties Union and Planned Parenthood Federation of America said in a joint statement.
Hours after the Supreme Court ruling, Ohio’s Governor Mike DeWine and state Attorney General Dave Yost, both Republicans, got a federal judge to lift an injunction against a state law that banned abortions after six weeks of pregnancy, which had been blocked from taking effect since July 2019.
The two advocacy groups plan to file a lawsuit “on behalf of Ohio’s abortion providers to protect the continuity of abortion care in our state under the Ohio Constitution,” they said in the statement.
“Today’s ruling will have deadly consequences, with the harm falling hardest on Black women and other people of color, who already face disproportionate discrimination in our country and grapple with a severe maternal mortality crisis, especially in states, like Ohio, that are preparing to enforce cruel bans on abortion,” the groups said.
Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, a Democrat, filed a motion asking the state Supreme Court to immediately hear her lawsuit over whether Michigan’s criminal abortion ban violates the state constitution. The 1931 law makes abortion a felony punishable by up to four years in prison for both the provider and patient, without exceptions in cases of rape or incest.
Whitmer’s lawsuit was filed in April. In May, the Michigan Court of Claims granted a preliminary injunction in a lawsuit filed by Planned Parenthood and the ACLU against the abortion law, which prevents it from going into effect until there is a ruling in that lawsuit.
“It is a precarious moment,” Whitmer, who is seeking re-election in November, said Friday in an interview on WDIV, Detroit’s NBC affiliate.
She said it is critical that the state Supreme Court “render a decision that abortion care is reproductive healthcare that is protected by our state constitution’s due process and equal protection clauses.”
In Florida, a Jewish congregation filed a lawsuit last week alleging a state law banning abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy violates the right to religious freedom.
“In Jewish law, abortion is required if necessary to protect the health, mental or physical well-being of the woman, or for many other reasons not permitted under the Act,” according to the lawsuit filed on behalf of Congregation L’Dor Va-Dor.
Rishi Sunak, one of two candidates seeking to become Britain's next prime minister, said Friday's attack on author Salman Rushdie should serve as a wake-up call to the West over Iran, the Sunday Telegraph reported. Indian-born author Rushdie, who spent years in hiding after Iran urged Muslims to kill him over his novel "The Satanic Verses", was stabbed in the neck and torso on stage at a lecture in New York state.
Scotland will on Monday become the first country in the world to ensure universal access to free period products following the passing of landmark legislation in 2020. "Providing access to free period products is fundamental to equality and dignity, and removes the financial barriers to accessing them," said Social Justice Secretary Shona Robison. "We are proud to be the first national government in the world to take such action," she added.
Salman Rushdie has been taken off the ventilator and is able to talk, said his book agent Andrew Wylie, a day after The Satanic Verses author was stabbed at an event in New York. Rushdie remained hospitalized with serious injuries, but fellow author Aatish Taseer had tweeted late evening that he was “off the ventilator and talking (and joking).” Rushdie's agent confirmed the information to Associated Press without giving further details.
US President Joe Biden expressed shock over the "vicious attack" on Salman Rushdie and said that he pray for his health and recovery. White House termed the attack on Salman Rushdie as "appalling" and said that the Joe Biden-Kamala Harris Administration is praying for a speedy recovery of the renowned author. Hadi Matar, who is suspected of stabbing an Indian-born-British author in western New York State on Friday morning during a lecture was arraigned in centralized arraignment on Saturday and was remanded without bail at Chautauqua County Jail. A suspect has been taken into custody.
A 24-year old New Jersey man charged with attempted murder and assault for attacking author Salman Rushdie has pleaded not guilty. Hadi Matar of Fairview, New Jersey was arraigned in centralised arraignment on Saturday and was remanded without bail at Chautauqua County Jail. Authorities with New York State Police told PTI that Matar pleaded not guilty and was held in the Chautauqua County Jail.