abortion

Women’s health political fights heat up in battleground states
Opponents and supporters of abortion rights gear up for record-setting advocacy campaigns

Control of state governments, Congress and the White House could depend on the ability of proponents and opponents of abortion rights to turn out core supporters. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Fights over abortion and birth control in all three branches of government are fueling record-setting advocacy campaigns by liberal and conservative groups ahead of the 2020 elections.

Control of state governments, Congress and the White House could depend on special interests turning out core supporters and elevating issues such as the Supreme Court’s consideration this term of a potentially landmark abortion case.

Lowey retirement sparks Democratic Appropriations scramble
Contested battle expected for top spot on powerful House spending panel

New York Rep. Nita M. Lowey announced her retirement last week at the end of the 116th Congress. Who will replace her as the top Democrat on House Appropriations? (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Appropriations Chairwoman Nita M. Lowey’s decision to retire at the end of the 116th Congress will set off a lengthy and contentious campaign among her colleagues to determine who will become the top Democrat on the spending panel.

Unlike the Senate, which predominantly relies on seniority to determine who serves as a chairman or ranking member, the House weighs several factors before deciding who will lead a committee. And right now, assuming Democrats keep their House majority next year, signs may be pointing in the direction of Connecticut Rep. Rosa DeLauro, who will be the third-ranking Democrat on the powerful committee in 2021. 

Supreme Court to hear Louisiana abortion law case
Joins other high-profile issues for the fall term, including immigration, LGBT rights and gun control.

The Supreme Court will hear its first major abortion case since the departure of Justice Anthony M. Kennedy and the arrival of President Donald Trump’s newest appointee, Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Supreme Court will decide this term whether Louisiana can require doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at a local hospital, a case watched closely by advocates on both sides of the abortion debate.

The politically explosive topic joins a slew of other high-profile issues for the court’s new term, including immigration, LGBT rights and gun control.

Supreme Court term to be punctuated by presidential politics
Docket ‘almost guarantees’ court shifting further and faster to the right, expert says

Activists hold up signs at an abortion-rights rally at Supreme Court in Washington to protest new state bans on abortion services on Tuesday May 21, 2019. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Supreme Court will confront ideological issues such as immigration and LGBT rights that have sharply divided Congress and the nation in a new term starting Monday that will bring more scrutiny to the justices during a heated presidential campaign season.

In many ways, the nine justices are still settling into a new internal dynamic with two President Donald Trump appointees in as many years. The court had few high-profile cases last term, amid the drama of Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh’s confirmation that gripped the nation and solidified the court’s conservative ideological tilt.

The Supreme Court is ready for its close-up
Political Theater, episode 95

Ruth Bader Ginsburg and her fellow Supreme Court justices are political issues themselves, a topic for discussion in the latest Political Theater podcast. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Hot topics? The Supreme Court’s got ’em this term. LGBTQ rights. Guns. Immigration. Abortion. 

The first Monday in October marks the start of the high court’s term each year, providing the titles of a 1981 Walter Matthau-Jill Clayburgh feature film — “First Monday in October” — and a short-lived CBS television drama with James Garner and Joe Mantegna, “First Monday.”

As abortion ‘gag rule’ lands in court, states seek funding fix
Six states pull out of Title X program rather than comply with new regulations

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., speaks at an abortion rights rally at Supreme Court in Washington earlier this year. States face a decision on continuing to participate in the federal Title X family planning services program. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call file photo)

As the federal government defends a rule in appeals court Monday prohibiting health care providers who take federal money for family planning services from referring patients to abortion providers, some states that haven’t complied are making plans for continuing without the program.

An 11-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit will hear arguments in San Francisco on Monday about whether the rule should be in effect during court challenges brought by 22 states and family planning providers like Planned Parenthood.

Senate appropriations process continues to devolve
Labor-HHS-Education and State-Foreign Operations spending bills mired in abortion dispute

Senate Appropriations Chairman Richard C. Shelby, R-Ala., has seen the Senate’s appropriations process begin to fray this week. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Senate appropriators have abandoned plans to mark up two spending bills Thursday that have become mired in a partisan dispute over abortion policy.

The Appropriations Committee announced it will postpone consideration of its fiscal 2020 Labor-HHS-Education bill and its State-Foreign Operations bill. As of Wednesday evening, the panel still planned to take up its Defense and Energy-Water bills at a full committee markup, along with a measure that would divvy up total discretionary spending among the 12 subcommittees.

Border wall, other disputes sidetrack Senate spending work
Panel's markup is delayed; government funding lapses on Oct. 1

Sen. Richard Durbin wants to move forward on military spending, but is unsure if that will happen. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

The Senate’s appropriations process fell into disarray Tuesday after a scheduled markup was abruptly postponed in a dispute over policy riders, and a fight over the border wall threatened to hold up defense spending.

Democrats were also resisting the GOP majority’s proposed subcommittee allocations that are needed to draft the 12 fiscal 2020 spending bills. And some lawmakers said there was still no agreement between the House and Senate on the length of a stopgap funding measure that will be needed to avoid a government shutdown come next month, when the new fiscal year begins.

Former intern for Rep. Chris Smith to run against him
Incumbent is last Republican left in New Jersey delegation after Democrats flipped 4 seats in 2018

Rep. Christopher H. Smith’s 13-point win in 2018 was his smallest margin of victory in decades. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A former intern for GOP Rep. Christopher H. Smith is seeking the Democratic nomination to challenge him next fall.

Smith is the only Republican left in the 12-seat New Jersey congressional delegation after Democrats flipped four seats in the 2018 midterm elections.

Federal judge blocks Missouri law restricting abortion
The Missouri law would have prohibited abortion after eight weeks of pregnancy

Activists hold up signs at an abortion-rights rally at Supreme Court to protest new state bans on abortion services May 21, 2019. A federal district judge temporarily blocked a Missouri law that would prohibit abortion after eight weeks of pregnancy from taking effect. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A federal district judge on Tuesday temporarily blocked a Missouri law that would prohibit abortion after eight weeks of pregnancy from taking effect on Wednesday as originally planned.

“The various sections specifying prohibitions on abortions at various weeks prior to viability cannot be allowed to go into effect on August 28, as scheduled,” U.S. District Judge Howard Sachs of the Western District of Missouri wrote in a court filing.