What We’re Watching: The future of abortion in America, Madrid hosts NATO summit

What We’re Watching: The future of abortion in America, Madrid hosts NATO summit

Abortion-rights activists protest outside the US Supreme Court after it overturned Roe v Wade.

REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein

US states fight over post-Roe abortion rights

In case you've been living under a rock, on Friday the Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade, the landmark ruling that protected abortion rights in America for almost 50 years. The decision, as expected, caused an outcry among abortion-rights activists and sparked jubilation for those in the anti-abortion camp. Now, the center of attention shifts to individual US states since 13 Republican-led ones had so-called "trigger laws" to prohibit or severely restrict abortion in case Roe was overturned. Although the verdict is expected to lead to abortion bans in roughly half the states, when and how those laws will go into effect — and potential legal challenges to them — make the timeline hard to predict. Conversely, several states governed by Democrats are taking steps to codify Roe into law, ushering in an uncertain period of legal fights between states to determine whether those who perform and assist abortions can be prosecuted out-of-state, and over access to anti-abortion pills. Politically, the ruling is a double-edged sword for the GOP, which hopes it'll fire up social conservatives, but also fears the Dems could use the verdict to energize their own base and make inroads with suburban women in swing states ahead of the November midterms. Moreover, the ruling has already become a major battleground of the larger culture wars for corporate America.

Check out more of our coverage on the historic SCOTUS reversal:


A NATO summit to fight them all

NATO leaders will be in Madrid this week for their first summit since the war in Ukraine began. They will focus on arming Kyiv, tackling Turkey’s misgivings about membership for Finland and Sweden (Ankara is miffed at the Nordic countries for supporting dissident Kurds), and bolstering Europe's “southern flank.” Host Spain and others fear Russia could use North Africa as a launchpad — Moscow has mercenary forces expanding their operations in the Sahel and beyond — to threaten Europe. The key takeaway will be the Strategic Concept, NATO’s big-picture security plan, which gets updated every decade. The last one, in 2010, assessed the risk of war in Europe as “low,” and the most significant risk to NATO was member apathy (many weren’t paying their dues). With a hot war raging on the alliance’s borders, the new security calculus is also likely to single out China as a security threat. That’s why US President Joe Biden will huddle on the sidelines with South Korea’s President Yoon Seok-youl and Japan’s PM Fumio Kishida, both serious China skeptics, in the first trilateral meeting between the East Asian neighbors and the US, their only military ally, since Yoon was elected earlier this year.
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