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Roe v. Wade news

Watch: Pamela Brown challenges anti-abortion activist

What we covered

  • The Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade Friday, holding that there is no longer a federal constitutional right to an abortion.
  • Going forward, abortion rights will be determined by states, unless Congress acts. Read the court’s opinion here.
  • President Biden criticized the court ruling for “literally taking America back 150 years.”

Our live coverage has ended for the day. Follow the latest Roe v. Wade news here.

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LAPD pushes "Full House" star Jodie Sweetin to the ground as protesters tried to march on freeway, publicist says

“Full House” actress Jodie Sweetin was pushed to the ground on Saturday by police trying to stop abortion rights protesters from marching on the US-101 freeway in Los Angeles, her publicist Jessica Cohen told CNN.

The protesters had tried to march up the Broadway Avenue off-ramp onto the freeway, according to a tweet from the Los Angeles Police Department.

LAPD officers had blocked the off-ramp and video of the incident shows police pushing protesters trying to march past them and striking at least one person with their batons.

Photojournalist Michael Ade told CNN he saw Sweetin talking to police and trying to steer the protesters away from the off-ramp.

She was wearing a black shirt with the words “stay outraged” on the front, her publicist said. She also had a megaphone.

Ade said he stopped shooting video to take a few photographs and started recording again just as she was pushed from behind and fell to the ground.

Sweetin got back up and continued protesting – leading a chant of “no justice, no peace.”

“She shook off the shove as if it didn’t happen and got back to demonstrating,” Ade said.

Ade said the protesters started to march off of the off-ramp at that point.

The LAPD said in a statement that it was reviewing the incident. 

“The LAPD is aware of a video clip of a woman being pushed to the ground by officers not allowing the group to enter on foot and overtake the 101 freeway. The force used will be evaluated against the LAPD’s policy and procedure.
As the nation continues to wrestle with the latest Supreme Court decision, the Los Angeles Police Department will continue to facilitate 1st Amendment rights, while protecting life and property,” the statement said.

Sweetin praised the protesters in a statement released by her publicist.

“I’m extremely proud of the hundreds of people who showed up yesterday to exercise their First Amendment rights and take immediate action to peacefully protest the giant injustices that have been delivered from our Supreme Court. Our activism will continue until our voices are heard and action is taken. This will not deter us, we will continue fighting for our rights. We are not free until ALL of us are free,” the statement said.

GOP congressman, asked if he's OK with a child rape victim carrying out pregnancy: "You don’t know you were raped for 2 months?"

Rep. Warren Davidson

Republican Rep. Warren Davidson of Ohio spoke with CNN’s Pamela Brown Sunday to discuss the Supreme Court ruling that limits abortion access as well as Ohio’s heartbeat bill, which survived an injunction Friday. The bill bans abortions after six weeks and has no exceptions for rape or incest.

Brown asked Davidson the same question twice: Whether he’d be comfortable with a 12-year-old girl carrying out a pregnancy to term if she was raped?

The first time, Davidson said: “So let’s say someone who was raped, you don’t know you were raped for two months? I think it’s incorporated in to deal with that, now that is a compromise. People believe that life begins at conception, that’s what the science says.”

Brown noted that the science is not conclusive on that aspect, and there is no consensus that life begins at conception.

The second time, Davidson said: “I fully support Ohio’s law and I commend, frankly, our governor and our legislature for passing it where previous administrations had failed … I think it’s a great law and it is a compromise. And like, I say, rape is raised as an objection but the heartbeat bill already deals with that … It’s hard to conceive of somebody who doesn’t know they were raped for two months.”

Nonprofit health director angered by Arkansas governor saying he's OK with forcing a woman to carry out a pregnancy

Kanika Harris

Kanika Harris, maternal and child health director of the nonprofit Black Women’s Health Imperative, spoke with CNN’s Pamela Brown Sunday about her personal story with abortion and the trauma she experienced dealing with racism in medicine.

“I never thought in my 40s that’d I would be in a situation where I would have to contemplate an abortion,” she said, adding that she was married, had children and financially supported her family.

“Due to my previous pregnancies, due to experiencing trauma and racism during pregnancy and delivery, it was recommended that if I were to get pregnant again that my uterine walls had stretched so thin from pregnancies, having two twin pregnancies, that it wasn’t a good idea to move forward with the pregnancy,” Harris said.

But despite her and her husband’s best efforts, she got pregnant again.

“We had to make the very difficult decision to pursue that pregnancy or terminate that pregnancy,” she said.

The Supreme Court’s ruling this week limiting access to abortions could increase Black maternal deaths by 33%, according to a study from Duke University. Harris also said Black women make up 90% of the maternal deaths in Washington, DC.

One reason contributing to these factors? Racism, Harris said. She told CNN she’s gone to two different hospitals in DC where she received disrespectful care – for example, staff would not listen to her complaints, she said.

Asked about Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s earlier comments saying he’s comfortable with the government forcing a woman to carry out a pregnancy, Harris said it angered her.

“It’s personal because I had to make the gamble of whether I would be here for my own children. As someone who financially supports my family, would I carry out a pregnancy and die and not be here for the children that are here, that I have, and not be here for my husband and my family?” Harris said. “So those are the decisions that are at play when you say a woman has to carry out a pregnancy that can be extremely high risk that she could die from.”

Read more about how lack of abortion access affects women of color here.

Virginia police are investigating vandalism of a pregnancy center following Roe v. Wade decision

Lynchburg police said they responded to a property damage call at the Blue Ridge Pregnancy Center Saturday morning.

A pregnancy center in Lynchburg, Virginia, was vandalized this weekend, police said.

Lynchburg police responded to a property damage call at the Blue Ridge Pregnancy Center on Saturday morning, where officers found graffiti spray painted on the building and multiple broken windows, the department said in a news release.

The words, “If abortion ain’t safe you ain’t safe,” were found spray painted in red near the entrance of the center, photos from the police department show.

The acts were discovered a day after the Supreme Court’s decision eliminated the federal constitutional right to an abortion.

On Friday, the Blue Ridge Pregnancy Center shared support for the Supreme Court decision on Facebook, writing: “Rejoicing with an overwhelmed heart of gratitude for the life affirming decisions that were made today.”

Opened in 1999, the center is “dedicated to helping men and women faced with an unplanned pregnancy,” according to their website, and does not provide abortions or refer for abortions.

Read more about this incident here.

Biden says abortion decision has not been discussed at G7 summit 

US President Joe Biden, left, addresses a press conference while, second from left to right, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, Japan's Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Germany's Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Italy's Prime Minister Mario Draghi and European Council President Charles Michel listen, during the G7 Summit at Elmau Castle, Germany, on June 26.

President Joe Biden told reporters Sunday that the group of leaders assembled in Germany for this week’s G7 summit has not discussed the Supreme Court’s decision Friday to overturn Roe v. Wade. 

Pressed by one reporter if the decision had come up in conversation, Biden deadpanned, “With regards to Ukraine?”

The topic, Biden told another reporter, was “not related to Ukraine or any of the issues we discussed.”

In a follow-up question, Biden told another reporter, “No,” his counterparts had not raised the subject during Sunday’s meetings.

How the Supreme Court decision on Roe could affect the fertility industry

In vitro fertilization medications.

The Supreme Court’s decision on Friday to overturn Roe v. Wade has raised fears that it could have “far-reaching ramifications” on people looking to get pregnant and the clinics providing services to help them.

Experts have previously told CNN that a high court ruling could open up the legal terrain for states to interfere with the fertility process known as in vitro fertilization, in which a sperm fertilizes an egg outside the body.

Fertility doctors and academics who study the legal landscape around fertility told CNN there is grave uncertainty – both about how abortion laws already on the books will be interpreted and about how lawmakers and local prosecutors may seek to push the envelope, freed from the precedents that have effectively shielded the fertility process from government meddling.

That lack of clarity, it is feared, will affect the treatments doctors are willing to offer IVF patients and the decisions people will have to make about how to pursue growing their families.

“Fertility clinics will face a flood of wrongful-death claims when the clinics discard embryos without authorization,” Wolf added.

Read more here.

A historically unpopular Supreme Court made a historically unpopular decision

Abortion right demonstrator Robin Gwak chants in front of the Supreme Court building on Saturday following the overturning of Roe v Wade.

This week, the US Supreme Court delivered its most controversial decision in at least a decade. The ruling to overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade decision that established a constitutional right to an abortion may have major electoral consequences in this year’s midterm elections. 

I covered the political impact in part in a prior column. But the court’s actions in this case may do something more than just affect the elections this year. 

The Supreme Court’s own reputation is at stake, and the decision to get rid of Roe v. Wade and to upset the status quo comes at a very sensitive time for the justices in a different court: the one of public opinion. 

And that’s where we’ll start our look at the news of the week through numbers. 

The Supreme Court is historically unpopular

The Supreme Court is not elected by the voters. A lot of people agree, though, that it’s important that the court maintains its legitimacy in the eyes of the public. After all, the court relies on others to enforce its own rulings. 

The high court’s legitimacy in the public’s mind was already at very low levels, and that was before the overturning of Roe — something most Americans didn’t want. 

Forty-one percent of voters approved of the job the Supreme Court was doing, according to a May Quinnipiac University poll. The majority (52%) disapproved. That was the highest disapproval rating recorded by Quinnipiac since it started asking about the court’s approval back in 2004. 

The court’s standing is a reversal from where things were two years ago when 52% of voters approved and 37% disapproved in Quinnipiac polling. 

Quinnipiac isn’t the only pollster to show a major degradation in the court’s standing. The percentage of Americans (25%) who have great or quite a lot of confidence in the court is at the lowest level ever recorded by Gallup since 1973. 

The slide can primarily be attributed to Democrats. Today, 78% of Democrats disapprove of the job the court is doing, according to Quinnipiac. In 2020, just 43% did. Republican disapproval of the court has declined from 38% two years ago to 28% now. 

The reason the public and Democrats have turned against the Supreme Court is pretty clear: It’s been seen as increasingly political and issuing decisions that aren’t popular. 

The aforementioned Quinnipiac poll showed that a mere 34% of voters believed the court is mainly motivated by the law. Most (62%) felt that the Supreme Court is mainly motivated by politics. Four years ago, the split was far more even, with 50% believing the court was mainly motivated by politics and 42% saying it was mainly motivated by the law. 

Again, this trend is driven by Democrats. Eighty-six percent of them told Quinnipiac the court is mainly motivated by politics. That’s up from 60% in 2018. Republicans who said the same had barely changed, from 46% in 2018 to 42% now. 

It would be one thing if the court was seen as activist and making popular rulings. It’s not. Both the Gallup and Quinnipiac polls were taken after word leaked in May that the court was on the precipice of overturning Roe. 

Americans agreed with the 1973 Roe ruling. A May NBC News poll found that 63% of them didn’t want Roe overturned. Indeed, every poll I know of has shown a clear majority of Americans in favor of Roe. 

Read more.

Gov. Noem defends position against abortions even in case of rape or incest in interviews Sunday

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem speaks in Houston, Texas on May 27. 

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, a Republican, dodged specific questions about the future of her state’s newly enacted “trigger law” in two Sunday network interviews, deflecting a lack of detailed plans by reiterating how the US Supreme Court’s overhaul of Roe v. Wade places the onus of drafting and enforcing abortion laws on each state. 

South Dakota’s “trigger law” only permits abortion when needed to protect the life of the mother, according to Noem. 

On CBS’ Face The Nation, Margaret Brennan continuously pressed Noem for details about how South Dakota will support pregnant women if abortion is no longer available in the state. Brennan also questioned Noem about filing lawsuits against companies housed in South Dakota that have pledged financial resources to employees seeking abortions from providers out-of-state. 

Noem repeatedly said her administration is still figuring out the specifics but said she does not plan to file suits against companies like Walmart and Amazon which have publicly supported abortion access. 

However, Noem would not directly answer whether her administration is prepared to take on the US Justice Department over federally-approved “abortion pills” that healthcare providers can prescribe via telemedicine. 

Noem told Brennan South Dakota will provide resources to mothers, especially those experiencing an unplanned pregnancy. 

Noem did not provide specific resources, however, or an explanation of how the state will fund said resources. 

Noem also doubled down on false claims about the FDA-approved abortion medication, as well as doubling down on her belief that being a victim of rape or incest does not justify an abortion. 

“I never believed that having a tragedy is a reason to have another tragedy occur,” Noem told Brennan. 

On ABC’s This Week, Martha Raddatz asked Noem what will happen to South Dakota women who travel out of state to receive an abortion. 

Noem said there will be an on-going debate about this in the state legislature. 

Noem also said women experiencing a crisis situation should not be punished.

Noem attempted transitioning into talking about the energy crisis when Raddatz pressed her on the available support for expecting mothers in her state.

Rep. Ocasio-Cortez: SCOTUS nominees allegedly lying under oath is a "crisis of legitimacy," calls for consequences

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez speaks during a hearing on June 8 in Washington, DC.

Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez decried a “crisis of legitimacy” on the Supreme Court, saying there should be “consequences” for nominees found to have lied under oath and that it is an impeachable offense.

“What I believe that the President and the Democratic party needs to come to terms with its that this is not just a crisis of Roe, this is a crisis of our democracy,” Ocasio-Cortez said on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” adding that Sens. Joe Manchin and Susan Collins have “come out with a very explosive allegation that these, several Supreme Court Justices misled them during their confirmation hearings and in the lead-up to the confirmation.”

Her remarks come after the two senators suggested in the wake of the Supreme Court’s move to strike down Roe v. Wade that recently appointed conservative Justices misled them on their abortion stance in testimony and in private meetings.

“There must be consequences for such a deeply destabilizing action and hostile takeover of our Democratic institutions,” Ocasio-Cortez said, adding, “to allow that to stand is to allow that to happen, and what makes it particularly dangerous is that is sends a blaring signal to all future nominees that they can now lie to duly elected members of the United States Senate in order to secure Supreme Court confirmations and seats on the Supreme Court.”

Asked if she believed it was impeachable, Ocasio-Cortez said, “I believe lying under oath is an impeachable offense.” She added that she also believed not recusing oneself from a case in which “family members involved with conflicts of interest,” is impeachable, referring to Justice Clarence Thomas and his wife’s conservative activism.

Ocasio-Cortez added that such violations “should be seriously considered, including by senators like Joe Manchin and Susan Collins.

Asked about the reactionary stance of the Democrats, Ocasio-Cortez pointed to a “generational change” within the party and that “there has been a weak Democratic strategy in the past and we cannot continue to use the same play books.” 

“There is an establishment within the Democratic party that has a nostalgia for a better time of politics from decades ago,” she said, adding, “but the fact of the matter is that we have a new and very different Republican party that more people are recognizing.”

Sen. Graham says Trump "deserves the lion's share of credit" for SCOTUS abortion ruling

Sen. Lindsey Graham participates in a debate in Boston, Massachusetts on June 13.

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham praised former President Donald Trump for his role in the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade, saying he deserves “the lion’s share of credit” for appointing three justices who ruled in the majority.

“This is a huge victory for the pro-life movement,” Graham said in an interview with Fox on Sunday. “President Trump deserves the lion’s share of credit here. He fought like a tiger to put three constitutional conservative judges on the court. He stood behind Kavanaugh, and all of us who’ve been working over the last 50 years to get this right, to have a constitutional reset, Friday was a glorious day.”

Graham deflected credit for his own role in Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation, saying in response to a question about Kavanaugh “it’s satisfying to know that through the constitutional process, you can make a difference.”

During Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing in 2018, Graham gave a passionate defense of Kavanaugh after he was accused of sexual assault by Christine Blasey Ford, who had testified about the incident to the committee. Republicans rallied around Graham’s speech and ultimately confirmed him to the court. 

Graham also reacted to Justice Clarence Thomas’ concurring opinion in the Supreme Court decision, in which Thomas indicated that previous rulings protecting same-sex marriage and contraception access should be reviewed by the Court. Graham said he disagreed with Thomas’ view and agreed with Justice Samuel Alito that Roe v. Wade was distinct from other rights protected by other due process precedents.

“I really respect Clarence Thomas,” Graham said. “But Alito I think set the right tone. He said nothing in this decision puts those cases at risk. The reason he decided that Roe v. Wade was wrongly decided is because it deals with the potential for life. He made a distinction between same sex marriage and contraception, which I think will win the day over time.”

Poll: Most Americans do not approve of the Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade

Demonstrators gather in Reno, Nevada on June 24.

Most Americans disapprove of the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, according to a CBS News/YouGov poll conducted Friday and Saturday in the immediate wake of the ruling. 

A 59% majority of US adults disapprove of the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade, with 41% approving. About half (52%) call the decision a step backward for America, with 31% calling it a step forward and 17% saying it’s neither.

Among women, two-thirds (67%) disapprove of the ruling, with just 33% approving. A 56% majority of women say that the decision will make the lives of most American women worse. 

A 58% majority of Americans say they’d favor a federal law making abortion legal nationwide, while 42% would oppose this. And 64% say they’d like abortion in their state to be legal in most or all cases.

Most Americans now say they believe it’s at least somewhat likely that the Supreme Court will eventually end or limit same-sex marriage (57%) and access to birth control and contraception (55%).

Only 33% say they have a great deal or quite a lot of confidence in the Supreme Court, with 23% saying they have just some confidence and 44% that they have very little confidence in the Supreme Court.

The CBS News/YouGov poll surveyed a nationally representative sample of 1,591 adults on June 24-25 after the Supreme Court decision was released. While this is a relatively short field period for a poll, the results provide an initial look at public reaction. The margin of sampling error for the poll is ±3.0 points. 

Sen. Warren: "This Court has lost legitimacy"

Sen. Elizabeth Warren addresses the public during a rally to protest the overturning of Roe v. Wade in Boston, Massachusetts on June 24.

Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren reiterated her belief in adding additional justices to the Supreme Court in the wake of the decision on Roe v. Wade.

“They have burned whatever legitimacy they may still have had after their gun decision, after their voting decision, after their union decision. They just took the last of it and set a torch to it with the Roe vs. Wade opinion. I believe we need to get some confidence back in our Court. And that means we need more justices on the United States Supreme Court,” Warren said.

In response to the decision, she said she doesn’t support the government should have a say in a decision between a woman and her doctor.

“I believe, and it has been the constitutional right of women across this nation for nearly half a century, for the woman to be able to make that decision with her doctor, with her religious advisor, with her family, but not something that the government should be in the middle of,” she said.

On Justice Clarence Thomas’s concurring opinion calling on the court to reconsider rulings striking down state restrictions, contraception, gay marriage, Warren said she’s “deeply concerned.”

“I understand that the rest of the court said no, no, we’re not going there. But remember how we got to where we are,” she said. “When Roe vs. Wade first came down, there was a tiny minority that really put a lot of energy, in effect for themselves and for Republicans, putting Roe on the ballot over and over but on the ballot didn’t mean try to get it through the Congress because they knew they couldn’t do that. They’re not even close to having national support for that. 

She added: “So instead, it was about getting extremist judges into the United States Supreme Court.”

Stacey Abrams calls for federal legislation restoring Roe as Georgia 6-week abortion ban set to take effect soon

Stacey Abrams speaks during a campaign event in Reynolds, Georgia on June 4.

Stacey Abrams, Georgia Democratic gubernatorial nominee, called for a legislative solution that restores nationwide abortion access following the Supreme Court ruling overturning Roe v. Wade, saying, “allowing each state to decide the quality of your citizenship is wrong.

Georgia has its own restrictive abortion law that bans abortions when a “fetal heartbeat” can be detected at about six weeks into a pregnancy. Unlike the states with so-called trigger laws that were designed to take effect as soon as such a Supreme Court ruling was issued, Georgia’s law was already passed and signed by Republican Gov. Brian Kemp but then suspended by federal courts as unconstitutional.

But now, with the Supreme Court precedent overturned, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta would be set to let the law go into effect soon.

“Women deserve bodily autonomy, the deserve the right to make these choices,” Abrams told CNN’s Jake Tapper on “State of the Union,” adding, “In Georgia in particular, in a mater of days, this six-week ban will be the law of the land. That is horrendous, that is appalling an it is wrong. As the next governor, I’m going to do everything in my power to reverse it.”

Abrams said President Biden “should do what is within the per view of the executive,” but emphasized the need for a “legislative solution that restores the constitutional protection to women regardless of what state they live in.”

“I believe there should be federal law that allows women to have these choices, to have reproductive choice and reproductive justice, and I think that it has to stop being a political football where the ideology of the leader of a state can determine the quality of life for a woman and her ability to make the choices she needs,” Abrams added.

Abrams advised businesses to consider the health care challenges that will face Georgia employees once the 6-week abortion ban begins, noting abortion restrictions are likely to stiffen if Republican Gov. Brian Kemp wins another term.

“I would tell every single business and every single woman to do what is best for the women that work for them. They need to make sure they are accommodating the very real health challenges facing the women of Georgia,” Abrams said.

She added that Georgia has refused to expand Medicaid and has one of the nation’s highest maternal death rates, reiterating that citizens and businesses should “take into very real consideration the danger Brian Kemp poses to the life and welfare of women in this state.”

Abrams said Kemp has already shown his “ambiguity” regarding birth control, and that it is “very, very dangerous for women in Georgia right now,” as laws governing birth control access are expected to be the next step for Republicans nationwide.