Category Archives: Supreme Court

Ohio Court Filings Detail Dozens of Patients Put Under ‘Extreme Duress’ by Abortion Ban

“In the days after S.B. 23 took effect, we had to cancel over 600 appointments,” said the director of one healthcare clinic. “Many patients broke down in tears in our office… some threatened to hurt themselves because they were so distraught.”

By Julia Conley  Published 9-22-2022 by Common Dreams

Three doctors at an abortion rights protest at the Ohio Statehouse on May 14, 2022. Photo: Daniel Konik

Sworn affidavits filed in an Ohio court illustrate the emotional and physical turmoil caused by the state’s abortion ban, which garnered national attention in July when it forced a 10-year-old pregnant survivor of rape to leave the state in order to get abortion care.

As the Ohio Capital Journal reported Thursday, abortion providers in the state have seen the effects of Senate Bill 23—which banned nearly all abortions after six weeks of pregnancy and is now temporarily blocked until mid-October—on dozens on patients facing fetal abnormalities, cancer diagnoses, and pregnancies resulting from rape. Continue reading

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US is becoming a ‘developing country’ on global rankings that measure democracy, inequality

People wait in line for a free morning meal in Los Angeles in April 2020. High and rising inequality is one reason the U.S. ranks badly on some international measures of development.
Frederic J. Brown/ AFP via Getty Images

 

Kathleen Frydl, Johns Hopkins University

The United States may regard itself as a “leader of the free world,” but an index of development released in July 2022 places the country much farther down the list.

In its global rankings, the United Nations Office of Sustainable Development dropped the U.S. to 41st worldwide, down from its previous ranking of 32nd. Under this methodology – an expansive model of 17 categories, or “goals,” many of them focused on the environment and equity – the U.S. ranks between Cuba and Bulgaria. Both are widely regarded as developing countries. Continue reading

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Direct democracy can force governments to better represent the people – but it doesn’t always work out

The Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade has led to a push for citizens initiatives to enshrine abortion rights.
Jeff Kowalsky/AFP via Getty Images

 

Susan Stokes, University of Chicago

In August 2022, a statewide referendum in Kansas saw citizens overwhelmingly reject a plan to insert anti-abortion language into the state’s constitution. It comes as a slew of similar votes on abortion rights are planned in the coming months – putting the issue directly to the people after the Supreme Court struck down the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling.

But are referendums and citizens initiatives good for democracy? It may seem like an odd question to pose on International Day for Democracy, especially at a time when many feel democracy is imperiled both in the U.S. and around the world. Continue reading

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FTC Files ‘Urgently Needed’ Suit Against Data Broker, Citing Threat to Abortion Patients

“This lawsuit highlights the very real threats that data surveillance poses to peoples’ safety, security, bodily integrity, and access to healthcare,” said the head of Public Citizen.

By Jessica Corbett  Published 8-29-2022 by Common Dreams

Earlier this year, the Tulsa Women’s Clinic was overflowing with patients, both from within Oklahoma and Texas. Now, it’s mostly empty as staff try their best to redirect patients to abortion providers in other states. Photo: Andrea Gallegos/Tulsa Women’s Clinic

Privacy and reproductive rights advocates on Monday welcomed the Biden administration’s lawsuit against Kochava Inc., which argues that the Idaho-based data broker’s practices endanger abortion patients in the post-Roe v. Wade era.

Since the U.S. Supreme Court’s late June Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision reversed Roe, while anti-choice forces have ramped up attacks on reproductive freedom, concerns have mounted about how data from devices like smartphones may be used to target patients and healthcare providers. Continue reading

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Inescapable ‘Abortion Deserts’ Coming as Idaho, Tennessee, and Texas Trigger Bans Set to Take Effect

“Tomorrow, millions more people will lose abortion access across the nation,” warned the leader of one reproductive rights group.

By Jessica Corbett  Published 8-24-2022 by Common Dreams

Around 3000 people met outside the Minnesota state capitol building to protest against laws banning abortion on May 21, 2019. Photo: Fibonacci Blue/flickr/CC

A leading reproductive rights organization on Wednesday reiterated the need for action to protect abortion access at the federal level in anticipation of three more “trigger laws” set to take effect in Idaho, Tennessee, and Texas.

Since the U.S. Supreme Court reversed Roe v. Wade in June, anti-choice state lawmakers have moved to further restrict reproductive freedom—ramping up the GOP’s already “unprecedented” attacks on the right to choose. Continue reading

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‘Hell State America’: Florida Appeals Court Won’t Let Parentless 16-Year-Old Get an Abortion

“The status of minors in a post-Roe America: Not mature enough to make decisions over your own body, but mature enough to be forced to continue with a pregnancy.”

By Jessica Corbett  Published 8-16-2022 by Common Dreams

Reproductive rights advocates gather in front of Florida’s historic Old Capitol building Oct. 2, 2021. Photo: Danielle J. Brown

Reproductive rights advocates were outraged by a Florida appellate court’s Monday decision upholding a trial judge’s move to block a “parentless” 16-year-old from getting an abortion.

Escambia County Circuit Judge Jennifer J. Frydrychowicz recently rejected the unidentified teen’s request for permission to bypass the parental notice and consent requirements under Florida law. A three-judge panel from the state’s 1st District Court of Appeal upheld that decision, which critics called “barbaric,” “flabbergasting,” “outrageous,” and “unconscionable.” Continue reading

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‘Authoritarian Crusade’: DeSantis Suspends State Attorney Over Pledges on Abortion, Gender-Affirming Care

“It’s absolutely insane that a prosecutor elected by the people of his county can just be suspended by a governor for not carrying out the governor’s pet projects of reaction,” said one critic.

By Jessica Corbett  Published 8-4-2022 by Common Dreams

Governor Ron DeSantis speaking with attendees at the 2021 Student Action Summit hosted by Turning Point USA at the Tampa Convention Center in Tampa, Florida. Photo: Gage Skidmore/flickr/CC

Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis came under fire Thursday for suspending Andrew Warren over the state attorney’s pledges not to prosecute people for violating restrictions on abortion or gender-affirming care.

Citing the state constitution, DeSantis dismissed Warren for alleged “neglect of duty.” The governor’s suspension order references the ousted prosecutor’s support for a pair of joint statements from the national network Fair and Just Prosecution (FJP). Continue reading

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Inside the Democrats’ climate deal with the devil

The new climate package furthers the US’ most profligate pastimes: drilling oil and driving big cars

By Aaron White  Published 8-2-2022 by openDemocracy

Senator Joe Manchin Photo: Third Way Think Tank/flickr/CC

Last week, Joe Manchin, the West Virginia senator whose decisive vote in the evenly split upper house has led some to brand him ‘President Manchin’, and Senate Majority leader Chuck Schumer surprised even the most clued-in political junkies by announcing support for a climate bill that had been declared dead just several weeks before.

The 725-page legislation seemed a brief respite from a summer of extreme weather – a brutal heatwave and flooding across the US – as well as soaring inflation, a cost of living crisis and radical Supreme Court rulings that overturned abortion rights and limited the regulatory power of the Environmental Protection Agency. Continue reading

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Surveillance is pervasive: Yes, you are being watched, even if no one is looking for you

Video cameras on city streets are only the most visible way your movements can be tracked.
AP Photo/Mel Evans

Peter Krapp, University of California, Irvine

The U.S. has the largest number of surveillance cameras per person in the world. Cameras are omnipresent on city streets and in hotels, restaurants, malls and offices. They’re also used to screen passengers for the Transportation Security Administration. And then there are smart doorbells and other home security cameras.

Most Americans are aware of video surveillance of public spaces. Likewise, most people know about online tracking – and want Congress to do something about it. But as a researcher who studies digital culture and secret communications, I believe that to understand how pervasive surveillance is, it’s important to recognize how physical and digital tracking work together. Continue reading

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Nearly Every House Republican Votes Against Codifying Right to Contraception

“If they had the chance they would ban it,” said Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.).

By Julia Conley  Published 7-21-2022 by Common Dreams

Screenshot: C-SPAN

With many lawmakers expressing disbelief that a law codifying the right to use birth control is needed in the U.S. in 2022, House Democrats passed the Right to Contraception Act on Thursday—joined by just eight Republicans as the party denied access to contraception is under attack.

All 220 Democrats voted in favor of the bill.

“One hundred ninety-five House Republicans just voted against protecting your right to access contraception,” said Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-N.J.). Continue reading

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