Dueling Decisions on Abortion Pill
Perry Stein, Robert Barnes, and Ann E. Marimow for the Washington Post report on the legal battle that played out on Friday evening when Trump-appointed District Judge Matthew J. Kacsmaryk blocked approval of theabortion drug mifepristone by the FDA just before Obama-appointed District Judge Thomas O. Rice ordered the FDA to preserve “the status quo,” retaining access to the medication in 17 states plus D.C. The authors highlight that this will almost certainly head to the Supreme Court, and experts say that the nationwide injunction issued by Kacsmaryk could increase pressure on the Biden administration to tell the FDA to ignore Kacsmaryk’s decision, if it is upheld by the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. Kacsmaryk was purposefully selected to decide this case by the conservative groups that sued the FDA in Texas.
Clinics Offering Abortions Face a Rise in Threats, Violence, and Legal Battles
For Minnesota Public Radio, Aaron Bolton reports that according to the National Abortion Federation, violence against abortion providers was already increasing even before Roe was overturned. Reports of stalking rose 600%, clinic invasions 129%, and assaults 128% from 2020 to 2021. Thirty years ago in Missoula, Montana, the Blue Mountain Clinic was burned down by an arsonist amid “a particularly violent period of anti-abortion attacks” in the 1990s and 2000s.” Bolton underscores that after the fall of Roe, rhetorical and physical attacks have increased against abortion clinics in red states. Last year, the Department of Justice formed a Reproductive Rights Task Force, which charged 26 people in 2022 — more than the previous three years combined. Recent PRRI research finds that most Montanans think abortion should be legal in most or all cases (64%).
Oklahoma Eyes First U.S. Religious Charter School After Supreme Court Rulings
John Kruzel for Reuters writes that an Oklahoma school board is set to consider the first taxpayer-funded religious charter school in the U.S. this week. Supporters and critics alike have said the board’s vote on whether or not to approve St. Isidore of Seville Catholic Virtual School’s application as a charter school could “trigger a significant legal fight over the separation of church and state.” The estimated cost of St. Isidore for Oklahoma taxpayers would be up to $25.7 million over its first five years. Two recent Supreme Court decisions Kruzel describes ruled that state-funded tax credits and tuition assistance programs could not exclude religious schools in Montana and Maine. If St. Isidore is approved and becomes the first religious charter school in the United States, future court battles could challenge the Constitution’s First Amendment “establishment clause.”
Guess Who’s Coming to Easter Dinner?
PRRI Public Fellows Flavio Rogerio Hickel Jr., Fanhao Nie, Leah Payne, Tarah Williams write for Religion News Service that their recent research on Americans’ religious practices shows that while more than a quarter of respondents identified as religious “nones,” 14% of these “nones” were “extremely” or “somewhat likely” to attend a religious service on Easter. The researchers’ surveyed an outsized proportion of Latinx and Asian Americans and found that an even higher percentage of “nones” (44%) plan to celebrate Easter with friends and/or family, particularly white and Latinx “nones,” asizable majority of whom were raised in Protestant or Roman Catholic families. “These could be members of a growing group of nones who participate in secular Easter traditions, but we suspect that religious holidays retain a cultural and familial significance long after practitioners have left religious affiliation behind,” the scholars write. PRRI’s 2022 American Values Atlas found that about 27% of the U.S. population claimed to have no religious affiliation.
Read the full Governing article, “How Much Could Younger Voters Affect Future Election Outcomes?” here.