Roundups Abortion

Repro Wrap: ‘Choose Life’ Plates Vetoed, ‘Personhood’ Rejected, and Texas Solidarity Marches Spread

Robin Marty

This week, some anti-choice efforts hit roadblocks, while pro-choice activists across the country fed off the momentum from Texas.

The anti-choice effort to grant legal rights to fertilized eggs has hit a roadblock. Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel announced Tuesday that he is rejecting the language in a proposed constitutional “personhood” amendment in the state, calling it too ambiguous. Personhood Arkansas’s amendment reads, “The State of Arkansas shall protect the life of every unborn child from conception until birth,” which the Democratic attorney general said would conflict with federal law.

In Rhode Island, Democratic Gov. Lincoln Chafee vetoed a plan to sell “Choose Life” license plates in the state, which would have funded “an anti-abortion organization whose ‘ultimate aim’ is to ‘share the love and truth of Jesus Christ,'” according to the Providence Journal. Gov. Chafee rejected the plan for not adhering to the “strong walls of separation” between church and state.

Although the fight over HB 2, the Texas omnibus abortion bill, may be over for now, the movement surrounding it is spreading. Reproductive rights protests are being organized and held across the country, including recent events in Chicago and Madison, Wisconsin. The Madison march focused on the state’s own recently passed restrictions, such as a mandatory ultrasound bill and a targeted regulation of abortion providers (TRAP) law that could close half the state’s clinics, as well as a potential “personhood” push. In Chicago, the solidarity event included protests against the new state parental notification law, which will go into effect August 15 after nearly two decades of battle in the courts.

Finally, NOVA Women’s Healthcare in Fairfax, Virginia, the busiest abortion provider in the state, closed this week after city council members passed an ordinance that would make it all but impossible for the clinic to relocate. Under new TRAP regulations in the city, the clinic is required to make medically unnecessary building renovations and meet new specifications; the clinic is unable to find a new building that would meet all of the new standards. An inadequate amount of parking spaces at one potential location proved to be the final straw for NOVA, which provided more than 3,000 abortions each year, as well as birth control and reproductive health services.

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