Experts at Rutgers University–New Brunswick and Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences are available to provide commentary and analysis on the growing number of states that are passing some of the most restrictive abortion legislation in decades.

The most recent is Alabama, where Gov. Kay Ivey on Wednesday signed a bill effectively outlawing abortion. Also, a proposal to ban abortions in Louisiana as early as the sixth week of pregnancy continued through the legislature, and Missouri’s Senate passed a bill to ban abortions at eight weeks of pregnancy.

  • Cynthia Daniels, professor of political science and director of the Informed Consent Project, is an expert in reproductive policy and law, with specializations in abortion politics, criminalization of pregnancy, fetal rights and constitutional rights.

“This is one of many attempts by the states to ban abortion, although it is the first that has passed a complete ban from the moment of conception. The passage of the Alabama law, if it were to go into effect, would have much wider implications for women’s reproductive health rights. For instance, it could allow the state to ‘take custody’ of a fetus from the moment of conception if state officials believed the pregnant woman was engaged in any behavior they thought might endanger the fetus, such as drinking alcohol or not following her doctor’s orders to not engage  in vigorous exercise during pregnancy. The Alabama law, once it goes into effect in six months, will be challenged in the courts, which could lead to a showdown in the Supreme Court. But there are many other abortion law challenges that could get to the Court before this one. Literally, hundreds of laws restricting access to abortion have been passed in the last seven years, already severely limiting women’s access to abortion, especially for low-income women and women living in rural communities. It is likely that the Court will hear this or another case in the coming session that could potentially overturn Roe v Wade.”

Cynthia Daniels can be reached at [email protected].

  • Leslie Kantor, D., chair of the Department of Urban-Global Public Health at the Rutgers School of Public Health, is the former national director of Education Initiatives at Planned Parenthood Federation of America.

“Alabama's Republican governor has just signed into law to ban almost all abortions, even in cases of incest and rape, becoming the most extreme ban since before Roe v. Wade. The ban, which will jail doctors for taking care of women’s health, will only allow abortions before six weeks, a point in pregnancy where most women don’t even know they are pregnant. Opponents of legal abortion see a new opportunity to potentially overturn Roe v. Wade at the Supreme Court level given the current Court composition and are passing state laws that will probably make their way to the Supreme Court."

To reach Kantor, contact Michelle Edelstein at [email protected] or 732-427-6232