State Updates

This week, several lawsuits have been filed by pro-choice lawyers and organizations with the aim of blocking trigger bans and keeping the small number of remaining abortion care clinics open for as long as possible in North Dakota, Louisiana, Florida, Texas, Arizona, Mississippi, and Oklahoma. 

Nancy Northup, Center for Reproductive Rights president, said: “We are seeing the start of a public health crisis that will engulf the nation. Our immediate priority is to preserve access in every state for as long as we can. Every day and hour that a clinic can stay open is a victory for the patients in the waiting room.”


North Dakota – On July 7, Red River Women’s Clinic and its medical director Dr. Kathryn Eggleston filed a suit aiming to block enforcement of the state’s trigger ban on the grounds that it is unconstitutional as it takes away the rights of every North Dakotan to life, liberty, safety and happiness as stated in their constitution.


Louisiana – On July 6, a lawsuit was filed arguing that the state’s three “trigger” laws were unconstitutionally vague: it was not clear whether any of the three trigger bans had come into effect and if so, which ones. Additionally, it was unclear what conduct would be prohibited, or if there were exceptions for abortions to save the life of the pregnant person. A hearing is scheduled on July 8 – in the meantime, the bans have been blocked and abortion care has resumed. 


Florida – A lawsuit filed in Florida argues that the state’s 15-week abortion ban is unconstitutional under the state’s constitution, because it contains an explicit privacy clause that protects individuals’ right to privacy, including abortion. As of July 5, the ban is being allowed to stay in effect in the meantime while this lawsuit proceeds.


Texas – On June 28, a Texas court granted a temporary restraining order, which blocked the re-enforcement of the state’s pre-Roe abortion ban (which had previously been interpreted as unenforceable and unconstitutional). However, on July 1, the Texas Supreme Court granted civil, but not criminal, enforcement of the ban. There is a hearing scheduled for July 12 on whether the ban will be permanently blocked. 


Arizona – On June 25, there was an emergency request to block Arizona’s “personhood laws” as they apply to abortion. These “personhood laws” would grant fetuses, embryos, and fertilized eggs the same “rights and privileges” as “other persons” for purposes of all Arizona law. There is a hearing on this motion scheduled for July 8.


Mississippi – On June 27, a case was filed that challenged both the states trigger bans and 6-week abortion bans, on the basis that the stat constitution protects abortion. However, on July 5, a court denied the request for these abortion bans to be blocked.


Oklahoma – On July 1, a lawsuit that seeks to block both the states pre-Roe abortion ban from 1910, as well as a total abortion ban slated to come into effect in August was filed. The lawsuit argues that these bans are unconstitutional as the state’s constitution promises personal and bodily autonomy, health, and substantive due process. 

Read more here: Center for Reproductive Rights


Digital Safety Guide from the Digital Defense Fund

Last week on the blog, we highlighted that private information collected and retained by tech companies, including data on location, internet searches and communication history, could be weaponized to prosecute abortion seekers and providers.

The Digital Defense fund has created a helpful guide for protecting your privacy when seeking an abortion, including tips on safely visiting websites, sending messages, and going to clinics. 

Read the full guide here: Digital Defense Fund: Guide To Abortion Privacy


Battleground included in the New York Times’ podcast, The Argument

This week, New York Times opinion columnists Michelle Golberg and Ross Douthat convened to share their thoughts on the overturning of Roe v. Wade as a watershed moment in America’s political history. 

Goldberg says “The reason I, and many people I know, feel such intense despair is not just because a right that they cared about deeply is no longer protected, but because it seems like the democratic process is short circuited at every turn.”

Douthat, however, feels that “Whatever happens with state laws or national laws, it makes a big difference to a lot of people’s relationship to this country to have the abortion debate return to the democratic process”.

Goldberg also refers to her own viewing experience of Battleground and the tactics of the anti-abortion movement during the episode: “I was just watching this documentary called “Battleground,” which is a pro-choice filmmaker following around — most of the documentary is her following around these women leaders of the anti-abortion movement. And there’s this one scene that I keep thinking about where they’re doing this online training for “Students for Life” of how to argue with pro-choice people online. And they’re kind of trying to lure young pro-choicers into, like, comment-section debates.”

Listen to the full podcast here.


The List interviews Battleground director Cynthia Lowen on Roe v. Wade and the views of the anti-abortion movement

Earlier this week, Cynthia Lowen, director of Battleground, spoke with The List on the initial footing of Battleground, how she became interested in the centers of power driving abortion legislation, and the level of organization and influence that the anti-abortion movement truly has in the U.S., particularly with young people. 

Read the full interview here.



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