In the US, stricter rules for abortion.

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The Supreme court legalized them half a century ago — now the conservatives have a chance to reverse this decision


Since the beginning of 2019, 12 us States have passed 27 laws limiting the possibility of abortion, nine — especially hard. The most stringent of them was signed at the end of may by the Governor of Alabama Kay Ivey from the Republican party. According to it, abortion during any period of pregnancy threatens the doctor with imprisonment for a term of 10 to 99 years, even when the conception occurred as a result of rape or incest. The only exception is when a woman's health is in serious danger.

Several other States have passed so-called "heartbeat laws" that prohibit abortion after the fetus begins to beat the heart — usually the sixth week of pregnancy. For the first time such a law was adopted in the state of North Dakota in 2013. Similar rules have now been established in Louisiana, Georgia, Ohio, Mississippi and Kentucky, and in some of these States rape and incest are also not grounds for abortion.

In Missouri abortion was banned after the eighth week of pregnancy — with the exception only in case of threat to the health of women. Especially acute struggle in this state goes around the only clinic that does such operations. The authorities tried to deprive her of her medical license, but the court stood up for the doctors. In total, there are six States in the United States, where only one clinic is engaged in abortion.

In Georgia, the law (theoretically) allows to interpret abortion as killing a person
A special resonance was caused by the law adopted in Georgia. The publication Slate published a large article, the author of which argues that for an abortion in the state of punishment can threaten not only doctors, but also women themselves. And they can be accused of murder. This conclusion is based on the fact that unborn children, according to the law, are recognized as a "special type of living person" with "full legal recognition" of their rights.

After the adoption of the law, actress Alyssa Milano, who launched the #MeToo flash mob in October 2017, tweeted that the Georgian authorities want to prosecute even residents of the state who terminated their pregnancies outside of it. Previously, she called on women to "sex strike" — the rejection of sexual relations.

Not everyone agrees with such a radical interpretation of the law. In particular, Elizabeth Nash from the Gutmacher Institute for the protection of women's right to abortion, in a comment to Vox noted: equating abortion to murder "is far from what is actually contained in the law."

Experts of the website Politifact, which deals with the actual verification of news and statements in the media, believe that the prosecution for illegal abortion can be subjected only to the organizers of the operation, but not the women themselves. Nevertheless, it is noted that the law does not directly prohibit punishing women (such a ban is prescribed, for example, in Alabama), so certain risks do exist. According to analysts, much will depend on investigators and prosecutors, and then the judges, who will decide whether the law gives grounds for the opening of the case and sentencing.

The adoption of the law caused outrage among Hollywood filmmakers — they threatened to abandon filming in Georgia. If at first to boycott called for individual Directors and actors, at the end of may against the law spoke representatives of the largest companies — Netflix and Disney. The boycott could be a severe blow to the state's economy. Both studios warned that it would be "difficult" for them to make films in Georgia — if the new law ever came into force.

Opponents of abortion want to reach the Supreme court
In Georgia, the new law will take effect not earlier than January 2020. In other States, the restrictions have already been blocked by the courts, where human rights defenders have applied. They refer to the fact that in 1973 the U.S. Supreme court declared abortion legal throughout the country. Specific conditions remain at the discretion of the States, but they can not completely ban them.

The long — term-perhaps long — term- litigation over the new laws does not frighten abortion fighters. Indeed, that is what they are seeking, since their ultimate goal is to revise the 1973 decision. This was stated directly, in particular, Terry Collins from the Republican party, which initiated the adoption of a new law in Alabama. The same position was confirmed by the Governor of Alabama Kay Ivey. Signing the law, she noted that without the decision of the Supreme court he has no chance to start acting.

The strategy of abortion fighters is that, after a series of mutual appeals, one of the laws passed will eventually be considered by the Supreme court. Nothing prevented opponents of abortion from achieving this before, but for a long time the majority in the court were their opponents. The situation changed under Donald trump. During his presidency, he appointed two new judges — Neil Gorsach and Brett Cavanaugh. Now the conservative part of the Supreme court has the majority of votes.

As a signal that the current judges are ready to listen to the opinion of opponents of abortion, the US perceives their decision on the claim of the authorities of Indiana. At the end of may, the Supreme court did not support the state's demand to declare illegal abortions that a woman had performed after learning about the disease, sex or race of the unborn child. At the same time, the court agreed that the remains of the fetus should be buried or cremated as human. According to opponents of abortion, this is the first step to recognize the unborn child as a full-fledged person.

If the Supreme court reviewed its 1973 decision, abortion would remain a legal procedure in about 20 States, but in 30 others it would automatically become a crime. There, the prohibition laws adopted before 1973 have lost their force as unconstitutional, but have not been formally repealed — and they will come into force again.

A complete ban on abortion throughout the United States is possible only with the adoption of an appropriate amendment to the Constitution. This is an extremely complex procedure, which will probably block the States, where there is no majority of the conservatives.

Most Americans are against the prohibition of abortion. This could help Democrats in the 2020 election
The publication Politico believes that the topic of abortion can become an important part of the election campaign in 2020, when the us presidential elections and midterm elections to Congress will be held. Supporters of the bans mainly represent the Republican party. Vice President Mike Pence said during the 2016 election campaign that he would like to send the decision to legalize abortion to the "dustbin of history". Donald trump in 1999 said that a woman has the right to decide whether to keep the child. Now he calls himself a tough opponent of abortion — except in cases of rape, incest and threats to the life of the mother.

Most American Democrats oppose the prohibition of abortion and criticize the new laws, although there is no clear position on this issue within the party (for example, in Louisiana, the tightening of abortion rules was supported by the democratic Governor). According to surveys in 2018, 64% of Americans want abortion to remain legal. According to Politico, on the wave of bans in some States, the Democratic party will try to mobilize voters for its support.

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