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Abortion Laws

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NATIONAL
February 10, 2009 | James Oliphant
When Barack Obama campaigned for president, he promised to enact legislation to prohibit the states from limiting the right to abortion. Now that he is in the White House and Democratic majorities are ensconced in Congress, opponents of abortion rights are bracing for that and other major changes to abortion laws. But there are indications that what those groups dread most and some liberal voters eagerly anticipate as the rewards of victory may not come to pass -- at least not yet.
ARTICLES BY DATE
NATIONAL
March 14, 2014 | By Joseph Serna
A federal judge has struck down a portion of a law in Arkansas that bans most abortions after 12 weeks of pregnancy, reasoning that the fetus' viability, not heartbeat, determines the legality of such procedures. At issue was an Arkansas law passed last March that said a woman could not receive an abortion beyond 12 weeks if the fetus had a heartbeat, except in cases of rape, incest, if the woman's life was in danger or if the fetus had a highly lethal disorder. U.S. District Judge Susan Webber Wright ruled that viability - or the fetus' ability to survive outside the womb - was the determining factor in abortion law and that Arkansas' law was therefore unconstitutional.
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NEWS
September 29, 1996 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
A dozen regulations in one of the nation's toughest abortion laws were struck down by a federal judge who said the rules imposed an unconstitutional burden on people seeking and providing abortions. U.S. District Judge William H. Barbour Jr. in Jackson, Miss., issued a preliminary injunction prohibiting Mississippi from enforcing the new rules, generally aimed at abortion doctors and clinics.
NATIONAL
November 19, 2013 | By David G. Savage
WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court cleared the way Tuesday for Texas to enforce a strict new abortion regulation that opponents say prevents a third of the state's clinics from performing the procedure. The court, in a 5-4 vote, split along ideological lines in turning down an appeal to block the law that abortion rights advocates challenged as unconstitutional. The measure, adopted by Texas lawmakers in July, requires that abortion providers have a doctor on their staffs who has admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the clinic.
NEWS
June 30, 1995 | MARY WILLIAMS WALSH, TIMES STAFF WRITER
The Parliament merged the old East German and West German abortion laws into one Thursday, ending five years of legislative disagreement with a convoluted new law that makes abortion a crime but allows women to undergo the procedure without being punished.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 9, 1985 | From Times Wire Services
Cabinet Minister Loris Fortuna, considered the father of divorce and abortion legislation in Italy, has died of cancer in a Rome hospital. Fortuna, who defied both the Vatican and thousands of predominantly Roman Catholic letter writers around the world, died Thursday at age 61. He was a criminal lawyer, journalist and longtime Socialist legislator who had served since August in Socialist Premier Bettino Craxi's Cabinet as minister of relations with the European Economic Community.
NEWS
September 17, 1999 | STEPHANIE SIMON, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Missouri legislators on Thursday enacted one of the toughest anti-abortion laws in the nation--one that never uses the word "abortion." Instead, the law talks of "infanticide" as it threatens doctors--and, for the first time, women--with sentences of up to life in prison for causing the death of any "intact child" who is "partially born or born." Anti-abortion legislators, who enacted the law by overriding Gov.
NEWS
August 31, 1991 | From Associated Press
A federal appeals court on Friday refused to put the nation's strictest anti-abortion law on the fast track to the U.S. Supreme Court. The U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals denied motions by Louisiana Atty. Gen. William Guste to expedite a hearing on the issue and to certify issues in the case for immediate Supreme Court review. The three-judge circuit panel gave no reasons for the decision.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 30, 1992
Those opposed to abortion hoped, and those who support abortion rights feared, that Pennsylvania's abortion law would finally provide the vehicle for the Supreme Court's conservative majority to categorically overturn a woman's right to terminate an unwanted pregnancy. That a bare 5-4 majority, fractured and muddled, did not do so is no cause for relief, even if it could have the effect of making it harder for states to enact even more restrictive abortion laws.
NEWS
September 3, 1994 | DEAN E. MURPHY, TIMES STAFF WRITER
One of Europe's strictest abortion laws survived a strenuous challenge Friday when Polish lawmakers failed to override a presidential veto of legislation that would have made abortions more readily available. The vote was a victory for President Lech Walesa, and it staved off a high-stakes power struggle between the staunchly antiabortion president and the governing coalition, which is led by former Communists who favor easing abortion restrictions.
NATIONAL
November 12, 2013 | By Molly Hennessy-Fiske
HOUSTON - In a U.S. Supreme Court filing Tuesday , Texas officials defended their right to enforce the state's new abortion restrictions, arguing that they protect public health and would not significantly block women's access to abortion. Last week, Planned Parenthood and others opponents of new Texas abortion restrictions appealed to the Supreme Court to reinstate an injunction blocking portions of the law concerning doctors' admitting privileges. The appeal was filed with Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, who gave state officials until Tuesday to file a response.
NATIONAL
November 4, 2013 | By Molly Hennessy-Fiske
HOUSTON -- Planned Parenthood and others opponents of new Texas abortion restrictions have appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court to reinstate an injunction blocking portions of the law concerning doctors' admitting privileges. The appeal was filed with U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, who gave state officials until next Tuesday to file a response before he rules. Scalia could rule on the injunction himself or refer the issue to the full court. Opponents said Monday that because of the new restrictions, a third of the state's licensed health centers have had to stop providing abortion services, including at least 14 providers, which will restrict abortion access to about 20,000 women annually.
NATIONAL
October 31, 2013 | By Molly Hennessy-Fiske
HOUSTON - A three-judge panel of the federal appeals court in New Orleans lifted an injunction Thursday mostly allowing the state's new abortion restrictions to take effect. The decision came three days after a federal judge in Texas blocked some of the restrictions that he found unconstitutional, including a provision requiring doctors at abortion clinics to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals and limits on medication-induced abortions. But the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals panel sided with state officials who asked for an emergency stay so that the new law could take effect pending a final decision.
NATIONAL
October 31, 2013 | By Molly Hennessy-Fiske
HOUSTON - A federal appeals court allowed most of Texas' new abortion restrictions to take effect immediately, lifting an injunction Thursday that had suspended much of the law. The decision came three days after U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel in Austin blocked restrictions that he found unconstitutional, including one that requires doctors at abortion clinics to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals and another that limits medication-induced abortions....
NATIONAL
October 29, 2013 | By David G. Savage
WASHINGTON - Oklahoma's high court on Tuesday set the stage for the U.S. Supreme Court to decide whether states can restrict doctors from prescribing two drugs used to induce abortion in the early stages of pregnancy. The case could be the first test of whether the court's conservative majority will uphold a string of new state laws across the country that seek to strictly regulate legal abortions. In the last three years, Republican-led states have passed laws to limit abortion without banning it outright.
NATIONAL
October 28, 2013 | By Molly Hennessy-Fiske
A federal judge is expected to rule Monday on the constitutionality of a controversial Texas abortion law set to take effect Tuesday. Last week, U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel heard three days of testimony and oral arguments in Austin about the law, which opponents sued to block after its passage this past summer . The law would limit medication-induced abortions and require doctors to have admitting privileges at hospitals to perform abortions,...
NEWS
June 20, 1991 | J. MICHAEL KENNEDY, TIMES STAFF WRITER
On the day after the Louisiana Legislature overrode the governor's veto and enacted the strictest anti-abortion measure in the country, a federal judge Wednesday set in motion what could be the long process toward review by the U.S. Supreme Court. U.S. District Judge Adrian Duplantier in New Orleans set July 23 as the trial date to test the constitutionality of the law, which bans abortions except to save a mother's life and in cases of rape or incest.
OPINION
March 11, 2006 | Samuel W. Buell, SAMUEL W. BUELL is a visiting professor at the University of Texas School of Law.
WHAT IF THE Supreme Court overrules Roe vs. Wade by allowing South Dakota's new abortion statute to pass constitutional review? Abortion, which has been governed in our time by constitutional law, again would be a matter of criminal law. The chief question would be: Who goes to prison?
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