Tomorrow marks 49 years since Roe v Wade.
Nope. For decades, many women have had to seek illegal abortions. Some had to travel far to an underground clinic. A large number of women lost their lives in the process. In 1969, Norma McCorvey (who’s known in court docs as Jane Roe) sought out an abortion in Texas. At that time, a Texas woman could only end a pregnancy if her life was at risk. So McCorvey worked with lawyers to challenge the statute, arguing that the right to privacy protects a woman’s right to an abortion. In 1973, SCOTUS struck down the Texas law in a 7-2 decision — effectively legalizing abortion across the US.
Yup. The same state that passed one of the most restrictive abortion laws in the country last year. It incentivizes private citizens to sue everyone from providers to drivers who helped someone get an abortion. It came with pushback — but not enough to put an end to it. And yesterday, SCOTUS said the law could continue to remain in effect indefinitely, blocking further litigation until the justices decide what happens next. But Texas is just one out of 21 states that are holding out hope that the Supreme Court will overturn Roe v Wade in June.
A lot. Even with Roe v Wade in place, it can be tough for women to get abortions. Transportation to centers, lack of childcare coverage, and state-specific barriers all add to the challenges. Now, some states like Ohio are considering trigger laws that would automatically make abortion illegal. Other states like New Jersey are taking more explicit steps to protect abortion rights. Overall, low-income women and those who live in rural areas will be among the most affected.
This weekend could be the last time the US remembers the anniversary of Roe v Wade. One poll found that about 40% of the country says abortion should be illegal in almost all cases. While about 60% think women should have the option.
Holocaust denial. Yesterday, the UN approved a resolution condemning Holocaust denial. The resolution — intro’d by Israel and Germany — passed nearly unanimously, despite Iranian objection. It comes as antisemitism is rising across the globe, with alarming trends found everywhere from the UK to Austria to Italy. In the US, an estimated one in four American Jews experienced antisemitism in the past year alone. Less than half of Americans can answer basic details about the Holocaust. And antisemitic posts are rarely removed from social media. Now, the UN resolution plans to educate future generations on the Holocaust and urges member states to take action — including on social media.
President Biden. Yesterday, he walked back comments he made about recent Russia-Ukraine tensions. ICYMI, Russia’s been amassing tens of thousands of troops along its border with Ukraine. Earlier this week, Biden said that "it's one thing if it's a minor incursion" but that if Russia "further" invades Ukraine it would be a disaster for them. The reaction was swift: Officials in Ukraine accused Biden of giving Russia a green light to invade his country. Lawmakers criticized the remarks. Since then, the admin's been trying to do damage control. Biden said any invasion would be met with a quick "economic response.” It comes as Biden himself has said he expects Russia to "move in." Except we're not talking about a lease...we're talking about the threat of invasion.
Meat Loaf. Yesterday, the singer and actor died at the age of 74. His rock career spanned nearly six decades — selling more than 100 million albums around the world. Meat Loaf’s “Bat Out of Hell” album is one of the best-selling of all time. And he won a Grammy in the ‘90s for “I'd Do Anything for Love.” Meat Loaf also appeared in several movies and shows like “Fight Club,” “The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” and “Wayne’s World.” A statement from his family told fans, "from his heart to your souls…don’t ever stop rocking!"
Havana syndrome. This week, the CIA said it’s “unlikely” that most cases of a mysterious illness, dubbed the Havana syndrome, are caused by foreign countries like Russia. Since 2016, US diplomats and spies have been reporting weird symptoms. Think: dizziness and headaches. The CIA says a majority of 1,000 cases can be explained by natural causes — angering some of the victims. But reminder: these are just interim findings. They still haven’t been able to explain two dozen cases, reportedly including some of those originally afflicted at the US Embassy in Havana in 2016.
Skimm’d by Rashaan Ayesh, Kate Gilhool, Julie Shain, and Mariza Smajlaj
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