Where the abortion debate stands now

By Meg Wagner and Brian Ries, CNN

Updated 5:04 p.m. ET, May 21, 2019
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3:58 p.m. ET, May 21, 2019

Protesters dressed like handmaids march outside Arizona State Capitol

A group of demonstrators dressed like handmaids from the TV show "The Handmaid's Tale" with signs around their necks reading "#WarOnWomen" marched outside the Arizona State Capitol in Phoenix on Tuesday.

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Arizona has several laws on the books that restrict access to an abortion. For example, a woman in the state seeking an abortion must receive counseling and wait 24 hours before having the procedure, according to the Guttmacher Institute.

Arizona Republican Governor Doug Ducey, who says he is pro-life, said this week that he believes the abortion ban law passed in Alabama is too strict, and that he still supports "exceptions for life of the mother, rape and incest."

2:13 p.m. ET, May 21, 2019

Kirsten Gillibrand: Trump will have a war on women, "and he will lose it"

Presidential candidate Kirsten Gillibrand told CNN that women "are going to fight" the anti-abortion laws. She also blamed the Trump administration for pushing them, calling it a "war on women."

"I think this something that President Trump has unleashed. He wants to apparently have a war on women in America and if this is a war that he wants to have, he will have it and he will lose it. Because American women are not going to accept this."
1:36 p.m. ET, May 21, 2019

Besides abortions, what does Planned Parenthood do?

CNN's Elizabeth Cohen looks at the history of Planned Parenthood, and the controversy surrounding the organization's funding for abortions.

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1:25 p.m. ET, May 21, 2019

Bernie Sanders: "We have to do everything we can" to defend abortion rights

Senator and 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders just showed up outside the Supreme Court at the abortion ban protest.

"The right for a woman to control her own body is a fundamental constitutional right," Sanders told CNN. "And we have got to do everything we can to defend."

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1:25 p.m. ET, May 21, 2019

Protesters in Philly: "My body, my choice"

Protesters with signs reading "Abortion is Healthcare" and "Vote Them Out," and chanting "my body, my choice," have gathered in downtown Philadelphia to protest the recent abortion bans.

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Note: Pennsylvania is not in the handful of states that recently passed abortion ban legislation. Its governor, Democrat Tom Wolf, recently announced he would "veto any anti-choice bill that lands on my desk." The rally is one of many being held across the country.

1:16 p.m. ET, May 21, 2019

Kamala Harris: "I stand in solidarity with those across the country to #StopTheBans"

12:58 p.m. ET, May 21, 2019

Protesters at Georgia State Capitol chant, "Stand up, fight back!" and "Vote them out!"

A group of protesters carrying signs that read "Stop the bans" and "Don't take away our care" gathered at the steps of the Georgia State Capitol building on Tuesday afternoon, targeting lawmakers who recently passed a restrictive “heartbeat” abortion law which chants of "What do we do? Stand up, fight back!"

They also chanted, "Vote them out!"

Hundreds of community members were expected to participate in the rally, with expected speakers including representatives from ACLU-Georgia, Indivisible Georgia Coalition, NARAL Pro-Choice Georgia, Planned Parenthood SE, SisterLove Inc, URGE and more.

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12:58 p.m. ET, May 21, 2019

Mayor Pete: "I do not believe that women and their doctors should be overruled by the heavy hand of government"

CNN
CNN

South Bend Mayor and Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg just spoke to CNN's Jessica Dean at an abortion ban protest outside the Supreme Court in Washington.

"I come from Indiana, I understand that people come to this issue differently," Buttigieg said.

"At the end of the day I believe that the right person to make this decision is the woman who is facing that choice in her life, in her health, and if she seeks it, advice from whoever she turns to for spiritual guidance, and critically, whoever she turns to for medical guidance."

He added, "I do not believe that women and their doctors should be overruled by the heavy hand of government on an issue like this where people do have different beliefs — those beliefs are best respected in a framework — the framework that was established right here at the Supreme Court and was the law of the land for as long as I’d been alive that trust women to make these decisions."

12:23 p.m. ET, May 21, 2019

This judge is skeptical of Mississippi's abortion ban — but he didn't issue a ruling

From CNN's Ariane de Vogue

A federal judge in Mississippi expressed deep skepticism on Tuesday about a state law that bans abortion as early as six weeks of pregnancy, sending a signal that a series of similar attempts across the country to pass near total bans on abortion might not withstand judicial scrutiny.

The judge did not rule from the bench, but said he would issue a ruling soon. 

During a hearing, Judge Carlton Reeves expressed anger at times, especially over the fact that the law has no exception for rape or incest.

Some background: Six months ago, Reeves struck a 15-week ban on abortion. That's when the legislature responded with an even more restrictive law.

Today, Reeves questioned whether the new law “smacks of defiance” to this court. 

"You said we can't do 15 weeks so 'by God we will do six weeks,'" Reeves said at one point. He then rhetorically asked if the state legislature would call a special session and then pass a four-week or two-week ban.