‘Crow After Roe’ authors: Citizens United spurred anti-choice legislation

By Kay Steiger
Wednesday, June 5, 2013 11:59 EDT
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Jessica Pieklo (Democracy Now screengrab)
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Authors Robin Marty and Jessica Mason Pieklo of the new book Crow After Roe: How ‘Separate But Equal’ Has Become the New Standard in Women’s Health and How We Can Change That explain on Democracy Now on Wednesday how the Citizens United ruling has led to to the unprecedented amount of state-level anti-choice legislation in the last several years.

Pieklo explained that National Right to Life, Americans United for Life, Liberty Council and the Tomas Moore Center are groups whose goals are either to overturn Roe v. Wade, making abortion once again illegal, or to make abortion so inaccessible that abortion is legal “in name only.”

“One of the reasons that the book looks at the onslaught of legislation after 2010 is that there is an explosion at the state level, and that is in large part due to one of the driving forces, and that is James Bopp Jr., who is one of the legal forces behind the challenge that created the Citizens United decision,” Pieklo said. “He sparked — and his group, National Right to Life — sparked a lot of the initial campaign finance challenges through conservative groups, so as a result of unrestricted funding at the state level, that’s where we’re at right now as a result of it.”

Host Amy Goodman asked about the so-called “heartbeat” bills, which seek to ban abortion after the heartbeat can be detected, and TRAP laws, or targeted regulation of abortion providers, which burden providers with expensive and medically unnecessary restrictions to force their closure.

“A lot of those, especially the heartbeat bills, we don’t expect to survive court challenges,” Marty explained. “On the other hand, we have so many states, especially in the Midwest and through the South that have just a few clinics left or just one clinic. What targeted regulations of abortion providers do is they put unneeded regulations in place so that you would have to rebuild your entire structure, which is very costly, or there are admitting privileges that doctors need to go to even though, in the rare case that there is a complication with abortion, if a woman goes to a hospital, a hospital’s not going to turn her down and say, ‘We’re not going to treat you.’ But they put these in place because they act as additional barriers so that they can then go through and pull licenses from clinics and start to eliminate clinics one by one that way.”

Watch the interview, broadcast by Democracy Now on June 4.

[Ed. note: Jessica Mason Pieklo is an occasional freelancer for Raw Story.]

Kay Steiger
Kay Steiger
Kay Steiger is the managing editor of Raw Story. Her contributions have appeared in The American Prospect, The Atlantic, Campus Progress, The Guardian, In These Times, Jezebel, Religion Dispatches, RH Reality Check, and others. You can follow her on Twitter @kaysteiger.
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