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If Roe v. Wade is overturned, Democrats will fight at the state level

Jon Lieber, head of Eurasia Group's coverage of political and policy developments in Washington, shares insights on US politics:

What is happening to Roe v. Wade?

Well, this week, the Supreme Court heard arguments in a case called Dobbs v. Jackson, which challenges a Mississippi law that would outlaw abortions after 15 weeks in the state. That law itself is a direct challenge to the legal precedent set by Roe v. Wade nearly 50 years ago, which is one of the most politically important Supreme Court decisions in American history. It has driven deep polarization between the right and the left in the US and become a critical litmus test. There are very few, if any, pro-life Democrats at the national level and virtually no pro-choice Republicans at any level of government. Overturning Roe has been an animating force on the political right in the US for a generation. And in turn, Democrats have responded by making protecting Roe one of their key political missions.

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The Graphic Truth: Abortion laws around the world

While the debate over fetal rights vs a woman’s right to choose is particularly ferocious in the US, it’s also a divisive issue in many parts of the world, particularly in countries where the Catholic Church holds influence. We take a look at abortion laws globally, as well as countries with the highest and lowest official abortion rates.

Why do Americans get so worked up about abortion?

On Wednesday the Supreme Court began hearing arguments on an issue that has had Americans fighting — and in some cases killing — each other for 50 years: abortion.

The court must decide whether a recent Mississippi state law that prohibits abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy is legal and, more broadly, whether it runs counter to the Roe v Wade Supreme Court decision of 1973.

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What We're Watching: COP26 begins, SCOTUS abortion ruling, Tigrayans advance towards Ethiopian capital

COP26 kicks off. COP26 kicked off in Glasgow with high-minded comments from world leaders. Unlike his predecessor, US President Joe Biden delivered all the right talking points, in particular by calling for tougher action on emission-reduction targets. France's Emmanuel Macron said much the same, as did the UK's Boris Johnson, the summit's host. UN chief Antonio Guterres said that current emissions pledges don't go far enough. But for all the progress being made – including a significant pledge by the G20 over the weekend to end overseas funding for coal plants – current promises fall short of the Paris Climate Accord goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels. Xi Jinping of China, the world's largest carbon emitter, is not attending the summit, and he recently announced an emissions target that is no more ambitious than the one he set six years ago in Paris. Similarly, the US, the next largest emitter, has set an ambitious goal of reducing emissions by 50 percent by 2030. But the Biden administration has so far failed to get Congress to approve the spending for its plans. Other leaders of coal-producing countries like Australia's PM Scott Morrison and India's PM Narendra Modi have shown up in Glasgow only to face criticism for their less-than-lofty climate goals.

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What We're Watching: SCOTUS wades into abortion minefield, mercs in Libya, Chinese kids learn how Xi thinks

SCOTUS lights the fuse on a culture war bomb: Texas imposed a near complete ban on abortion on Wednesday, hours after the US Supreme Court declined to rule on whether a law that prohibits the procedure after doctors can detect a fetal "heartbeat" is constitutional. Pro-choice Americans say the law, written by the Republican-controlled Texas legislature, violates the provisions of the landmark 1973 Roe vs Wade, in which the Supreme Court ruled that abortion is, with some caveats, a constitutional right. The law would make it illegal to abort as early as six weeks into pregnancy, in effect outlawing some 85 percent of elective abortions in the state. Although President Biden says he opposes the law and would protect Roe v Wade, he has yet to take any concrete action. SCOTUS could still rule on the law, but the debate around it is certain to be a major third-rail issue in US politics as the 2022 midterms approach. A majority of Americans say abortion should be legal in almost all cases, but the split is sharply partisan: 80 percent of Democrats agree, compared to only 35 percent of Republicans.

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Europe copes with terrorism; Poland's massive abortion rights protest

Carl Bildt, former Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Sweden, with the view from Europe:

What is going on with the recent terrorist attacks in Europe?

Well, there have been both the attacks in - one in Paris, the awful beheading, the subsequent attack in Nice, and the attack in Vienna. They've all been evidently acts by individuals without any planning, without any coordination, without any sort of major other thing behind it. That's the good news. The bad news is, of course, that these things happen. And it's very difficult for the security authorities to deal with. I mean, the Vienna case, it's obvious that there had been warnings about this particular individual, and I'm quite certain that will be quite a number of questions to be answered about that later on.

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