Jun 21, 2018

Go deeper: Why abortion rights groups are suing Virginia

March for Life 2018. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Women's health care providers are suing the state of Virginia, The Hill reports, arguing that a number of state laws violate a 2016 Supreme Court decision on abortion.

The details: The group is backed by organizations like the Center for Reproductive Rights, Planned Parenthood, and the American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia. State lawmakers argue that the state's provisions are in women's best interest, but the providers say the laws put up unnecessary hurdles for women to get abortions.

2016 Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt

The Supreme Court found that two provisions in a Texas law regarding access to abortion "constituted an undue burden, and [were] therefore unconstitutional," NPR reported.

  • The first provision, which requires that doctors performing abortions have admitting privileges to a hospital within 30 miles. "[B]ecause the complication rate from abortions is so minuscule, most abortion providers cannot meet the minimum number of admittances that hospitals require before granting privileges," NPR's Nina Totenber writes.
  • The second, which requires clinics providing abortions have surgical facilities. Toenber reported that the clinics had to have "elaborate statutory hospital-grade standards ... that do not apply to all other outpatient facilities where other surgical procedures like liposuction and colonoscopies take place."
What's happening in Virginia

The groups suing against Virginia's laws argue that they make abortions harder to obtain, and are therefore unconstitutional.

  • The restrictions require that only physicians can perform abortions, that clinics providing abortions meet "hospital-style building standards," and that second-trimester abortions happen in hospitals, the Washington Post's Laura Vozzella reports.
  • They also target a 2012 law which requires women to have an ultrasound and wait 24 hours before having an abortion, per Vozzella.

What they're saying:

  • The president and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights, Nancy Northup, told The Hill that they're fighting laws that are "shutting down clinics, delaying care, increasing costs, and piling one burden on top of another in an attempt to regulate the fundamental protections of Roe v. Wade out of existence."
  • Virginia House Republicans argue that these provisions are "medically necessary," and said if state Attorney General Mark Herring chooses to "neglect his duty" to defend them, "the Speaker will consider using his authority to hire counsel to defend the law on behalf of the House of Delegates."

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World coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

The number of deaths from the novel coronavirus surpassed 400,000 worldwide on Sunday morning, per Johns Hopkins.

By the numbers: Almost 6.9 million people have tested positive for COVID-19 globally and more than 3 million have recovered from the virus. The U.S. has reported the most cases in the world with over 1.9 million.

George Floyd updates

Protesters gather north of Lafayette Square near the White House during a demonstration against racism and police brutality, in Washington, D.C. on Saturday evening. Photo: Jose Luis Magana/AFP via Getty Images

Tens of thousands of demonstrators have been rallying in cities across the U.S. and around the world to protest the killing of George Floyd. Huge crowds assembled in Washington, D.C., Philadelphia and Chicago for full-day events on Saturday.

Why it matters: Twelve days of nationwide protest in the U.S. has built pressure for states to make changes on what kind of force law enforcement can use on civilians and prompted officials to review police conduct. A memorial service was held for Floyd in Raeford, North Carolina, near where he was born. Gov. Roy Cooper ordered all flags to fly at half-staff to honor him until sunset.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 6,898,613 — Total deaths: 399,832 — Total recoveries — 3,087,714Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 1,920,061 — Total deaths: 109,802 — Total recoveries: 500,849 — Total tested: 19,778,873Map.
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  4. Tech: The pandemic is accelerating next-generation disease diagnostics — Robotics looks to copy software-as-a-service model.
  5. Business: Budgets busted by coronavirus make it harder for cities to address inequality Sports, film production in California to resume June 12 after 3-month hiatus.
  6. Education: Students and teachers flunked remote learning.