Julie Carr Smyth/Associated Press
Laws banning most abortions at the point of the "first detectable heartbeat"are beginning to take effect following the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to overturn the nearly 50-year-old Roe v. Wade decision. Court actions in states including Ohio, South Carolina and Tennessee have revived laws stalled under Roe and left some abortion seekers and clinics scrambling. Generally, abortion is still legal in states under such laws until six to eight weeks into pregnancy. Clinics, abortion rights and some faith groups are mobilizing to help women beyond that point get abortions elsewhere. Some abortion foes also are providing family-related resources online.
A court has allowed federally funded family planning clinics to continue to make abortion referrals for now. The decision Tuesday was a setback for a dozen Republican attorneys general who are seeking to restore a Trump-era ban on the practice. The Biden administration reversed that prohibition in new regulations implemented in October. The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the new Department of Health and Human Services regulations for the Title X family planning program can remain in place during the states' challenge. The changes returned the program to how it ran under the Obama administration.
Ohio's top lawyer has filed suit against the Biden administration seeking to restore a Trump-era ban on abortion referrals by family planning clinics that was reversed earlier this month. The action by Republican Attorney Dave Yost was joined by 11 other states. It says new federal regulations at the Department of Health and Human Services that return the Title X federal family planning program to the way it ran under the Obama administration prevents states from determining violations of a federal prohibition on clinics using taxpayer money for abortions. Former President Donald Trump set the ban in 2019.