More States Considering Bans as America's Abortion Access Battle Continues
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WASHINGTON -- Nearly a year ago, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade and the ripple effects are still being felt with America's battle over abortion access front and center across the country this week.
On Wednesday, a federal appeals court heard arguments in a lawsuit seeking to stop the use of a popular abortion pill. And a new round of states is set to consider bans after lawmakers in North Carolina overrode the governor's veto of a bill restricting the procedure.
At least 15 states have moved to either ban or curtail abortion services in the last eleven months. North Carolina remained as one of the few states with fewer restrictions until Tuesday when the Republican-led legislature pushed through a 12-week abortion ban.
That law is the Care for Women, Children, and Families Act. Beginning July 1, abortion access in the Tar Heel State drops from 20 weeks to 12 with exceptions in cases of rape or incest or when the life of the mother may be at risk.
"It also paired that protection for the unborn with $160 million earmarked for programs to support moms and families all across the state," said Katie Daniel, state policy director for Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America.
Other states are considering similar measures. In Nebraska, a bill banning gender-affirming surgeries for minors and restricting abortions after 12 weeks is set for a final vote.
"We owe it to kids to let them grow up, to let them make these decisions as adults," said Republican state Sen. Kathleen Kauth.
"If you vote for this, you will have buckets and buckets of blood on your hands," argued Democrat state Sen. Machaela Cavanaugh.
Lawmakers in South Carolina are debating a six-week abortion ban, and if that becomes law, it would nearly wipe out abortion access in the South.
Daniel said life is winning.
"Lawmakers in South Carolina are looking at their neighbors. They're looking at my home state of Florida which passed a heartbeat law this year. They're looking at North Carolina with a 12-week law. Even Virginia considered a 15-week law this year, and we hope to see them do that again," she told CBN News.
As states continue to debate these restrictions, on the federal level, the fate of the popular abortion pill Mifepristone, once again rests with the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) calls the drug a safe way to terminate a pregnancy. Pro-life groups, though, argue the agency didn't follow protocol in approving the pill, making it unsafe.
"When they originally approved the drug, they didn't follow the federal requirements that say before you can approve drugs for minors you have to actually study the effects of these drugs on minors," Daniel explained.
The outcome of Wednesday's hearing could determine whether the drug remains on the market.
"The American people deserve better than a politically driven agency that's just trying to get outcomes favorable to its friends in the abortion industry," Daniel said.
The FDA's current regulations also allow women to obtain mifepristone without visiting a doctor in person, and they can receive the drug in the mail.
Regardless of how the federal appeals court rules, an appeal to the Supreme Court is almost certain.
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