Oct 29, 2019

Federal judge temporarily blocks Alabama abortion bill

Pro-choice protesters gather at the Supreme Court on May 21 in Washington, D.C. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

A federal judge granted a preliminary injunction on Tuesday, temporarily halting Alabama's restrictive abortion ban from taking effect on Nov. 15, the New York Times reports.

Why it matters: The ruling, issued by U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson, is an "early step in a legal confrontation that critics of abortion orchestrated to try to reach the United States Supreme Court," the Times writes. The legislation would make it a felony for doctors to perform an abortion under almost any circumstance, including rape or incest.

  • Tuesday's decision will allow abortion services to continue in the state until further ruling by the district court, the judge explained.

Our thought bubble, per Axios' Sam Baker: This shouldn't come as a surprise — Alabama's law was designed to push the limits of abortion law. The big question is whether this will eventually reach the Supreme Court, or whether lower courts will continue to rule against it and keep it from getting that far.

Go deeper

Where abortion restrictions stand: The states that have passed laws

Anti-abortion protest. Photo: SAUL LOEB/Getty Images

The most restrictive abortion laws in generations are being challenged in courts across America's red states, setting up what could be a precedent-smashing Supreme Court challenge to the abortion status quo.

Driving the news: Mississippi's fetal heartbeat law was struck down on Friday, after the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the 15-week abortion ban was unconstitutional, per AP. The Center for Reproductive Rights, who challenged the ban in court, called the ruling "the first of the recent bans to reach a federal appellate court."

Go deeperArrowUpdated Dec 14, 2019

Judge blocks rule that denies health services based on moral, religious grounds

A federal judge in New York rejected a Trump administration rule on Wednesday that would have allowed medical workers to deny services based on their religion or ideology, including abortion or sex reassignment surgery.

The big picture: The most restrictive abortion laws in generations are being challenged in courts across America's red states. This rule from the Department of Health and Human Services was challenged by several women's groups and individual states that claimed it was unconstitutional, AP reports.

Go deeper: Planned Parenthood plans massive spending campaign for 2020

Joe Biden denied communion at South Carolina church

Photo: Sean Rayford/Getty Images

Joe Biden was denied communion at a Catholic church in Florence, S.C., while on the 2020 campaign trail, reports SCNow.

Why it matters: Father Robert E. Morey sayid he refused Biden — a lifelong Catholic — communion due to the former vice president's stance on abortion. Biden's long history with abortion policy has been a thorn in his side during the 2020 campaign, with other candidates challenging him over his stance on the Hyde Amendment.

Go deeper: Joe Biden's dance on abortion policy

Keep ReadingArrowOct 29, 2019