Emergency Podcast: What's Going On With All These Abortion Bans?


Over the past couple of weeks, state legislatures around the U.S. have been passing six week bans, otherwise known as “heartbeat bans”. These extreme and unconstitutional abortion laws seek to ban the legal procedure once a fetal heart tone in an embryo is detected, which can be as early as six weeks in pregnancy. Jessica Pieklo, Vice President of Law and Courts at Rewire.news and co-host of the Boom! Lawyered podcast, and Imani Gandy, Senior Legal Analyst with Rewire.news, co-host of the Boom! Lawyered podcast, and founder of Angry Black Lady Chronicles, talk to us about this emergency situation and why these “heartbeat bans” are so severe and dangerous.

The language that we use when talking about this recent bans is very important. The term “heartbeat ban” is a marketing tool used by anti-choice legislators to appeal to voter’s emotion rather than science and logic. At six weeks, an embryo has a fetal heart tone, or electric activity in the fetal pole.

Georgia recently passed a “fetal heartbeat ban,” which bans abortion at six weeks. This is before many people even know that they are pregnant. While the bill is not written to criminalize abortion, there are aggressive prosecutors that are willing to use laws that are not intended to ensnare pregnant people to prosecute people for obtaining abortion care. What is important to remember right now is that abortion is still legal in Georgia, and the law will likely be blocked in court.

Alabama passed a near-total ban and candidly stated that the purpose was to challenge Roe v. Wade. The law is not in effect, and the ACLU of Alabama is currently preparing a legal challenge to it. Louisiana and Missouri have also mirrored these “heartbeat bans,” hoping to prevent people from accessing comprehensive care.

Links from this episode
Boom! Lawyered
Imani Gandi on Twitter
Jessica Pieklo on Twitter
More information on “Heartbeat Bans” here and here
More information on Georgia
More information on Alabama
More information on Missouri
More information on Louisiana

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