abortion

Confirmation hearings begin this week for Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh.

One issue state lawmakers may find most significant is reproductive rights and how Kavanaugh responds to questions regarding Roe v. Wade, the 1973 ruling that gave women the constitutional right to choose abortion.

Maine Republican Sen. Susan Collins says Kavanaugh told her that he views the landmark abortion rights ruling as "settled law."

The confirmation of a Supreme Court justice is often a major event that ripples through American law for decades. But Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation hearing, which opens Tuesday, is especially historic because, if confirmed, Kavanaugh is expected to solidify a hard-right majority on the nation's highest court, a majority the likes of which has not been seen since the early 1930s, and which is likely to dominate for a generation or more.

What would the U.S. look like without Roe v. Wade, the 1973 case that legalized abortion nationwide?

That's the question now that President Trump has chosen conservative Judge Brett Kavanaugh as his nominee to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy.

President Trump's nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to fill the Supreme Court vacancy left by retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy was met with swift partisan response from many in Congress, emphasizing the power of a narrow group of uncommitted senators.

A large number of Senate Democrats, including Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., immediately announced that they plan to vote against Kavanaugh.

President Trump has vowed not to ask prospective members of the Supreme Court about their views on Roe v. Wade, the basis for legal abortion nationwide since 1973 and the most widely discussed legal case in America in the past half-century.

President Trump also made a rather different promise to voters in 2016 in his third televised debate with Hillary Clinton. He said Roe would be overturned if he got to change the balance on the court:

President Trump hasn't yet nominated a replacement for Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, but the fight over confirming that nominee began the day Kennedy gave notice.

Updated at 11:26 a.m.

The U.S. Supreme Court has reversed a lower court decision upholding a California law requiring anti-abortion crisis pregnancy centers to more fully disclose what they are.

Updated at 2:07 p.m. ET

A judge in Iowa has placed a temporary injunction on the state's "heartbeat law," one of the most restrictive abortion measures in the United States. The controversial new law bans nearly all abortions once a fetal heartbeat can be detected, at about six weeks of pregnancy, and was slated to take effect July 1.

Less than two weeks after Iowa adopted a law banning most abortions after about six weeks of pregnancy, Planned Parenthood and the ACLU of Iowa have filed suit, seeking to prevent the law from taking effect.

Scheduled to take effect on July 1, Iowa's law is one of the most restrictive abortion measures in the U.S. The measure was signed by Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds on May 4, days after it was approved by the state legislature.

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds signed one of the country's most restrictive abortion bills into law on Friday.

The so-called "heartbeat" legislation bans abortions once a fetal heartbeat has been detected, at about six weeks of pregnancy. Exceptions are made in cases of rape, incest or medical emergency.

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