May 2—WASHINGTON — On Tuesday,
So-called "heartbeat bills" have passed in several states, starting with
A "trigger" provision in the
In 2016, the
"This is an abortion ban in waiting," Nash said. "It's waiting for the day when abortion rights have been undermined."
Critics say calling the legislation a "heartbeat bill" is misleading, since the first cardiac activity occurs in tissue called the fetal pole of an embryo, which does not have a heart at six weeks of gestation.
"There's just real danger in calling this a 'fetal heartbeat bill,' when it really is a six-week abortion ban," said
While Dillon emphasized the
"The cost is high for people who don't have the means, or access to a car, or time off work, or lodging," Dillon said. "We really believe at
"Health care decisions should be made between a patient and their provider — without government interference," DelliCarpini-Tolman said. "Let's be clear: This bill is unconstitutional, and should it become law, there will be a lawsuit filed to stop its enactment."
Not all anti-abortion groups have thrown their weight behind the wave of "heartbeat" bills, which have so far passed in 13 states but have consistently been blocked by courts. Other, less restrictive abortion-related cases that may have better odds of prompting the justices to undermine or overturn Roe v. Wade are currently working their way to the
"We understand why lawmakers want to have this type of law on the books in the event that authority is delegated back to the states to make these decisions," said
"But there are 45 federal cases in the queue winding up to the
As an example of a law with an immediate effect, Glenn pointed to another
Glenn said her organization generally has not worked on "heartbeat" laws, but she understands the effectiveness of the language. "It's something that anybody can understand," she said. "We all have a heartbeat."
The odds of the
"The court is seeking abortion cases — that was pretty clear from Roberts' opinion in the
Glenn said states like
"You're seeing judges force the
"With that level of confusion, a lot of lawmakers are saying, 'We're just going to pass the laws that we want on the books, and they will be there whenever we get authority back.' That seems to be the thinking behind a lot of laws that have that trigger provision."
If the laws do go into effect, Nash said, the impact on
"Right now, there's no ban in effect," Nash said, "but there's the potential — given the makeup of the courts, given the direction of these state legislatures — that access could be even more limited. And for a place like
Nationwide polls, including one by Gallup and another by
(c)2021 The Spokesman-Review (Spokane, Wash.)
Visit The Spokesman-Review (Spokane, Wash.) at www.spokesman.com
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.