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Some States Are Ready To Punish Abortion in a Post-Roe World

June 24, 2022

If the U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, as it is expected to do in the coming days, the U.S. Constitution will no longer be interpreted as protecting the right to abortion. As a result, states will be able to decide whether abortion is legal and under what circumstances. While some states already have extreme legislation in effect that bans nearly all abortion care, 19 states have bans on the books passed either pre- or post-Roe, many of which--while not currently in force--could come into effect if the Supreme Court overturns Roe.This report explains the general operation of these 19 states' pre-Roe bans, trigger bans, and constitutional amendments. It then summarizes each state's trigger ban, pre-Roe statute, constitutional amendment, or combination thereof and describes the process for how each could be implemented if Roe is overturned.

Top 10 Ways To Improve Health and Health Equity

April 28, 2022

From 2019 to 2020, life expectancy in the United States declined by 1.5 years, reaching its lowest level since 2003. It fell yet again in 2021. In fact, the health of Americans has been declining for decades, compared with citizens in other high-income countries:  In 2020, life expectancy in the United States was nearly five years lower than it was in other industrialized countries, and it has only declined further as the country has faced the world's largest total death toll from COVID-19. Unlike the United States, in 2021, many of its peer countries have started to see rebounds in life expectancy with the help of the COVID-19 vaccination.As health declines, it adversely affects not only quality of life but also the economy and national security, including workforce productivity, health care costs, and the fitness of military recruits. Yet these adverse health impacts are not felt equally across U.S. society. For example, the decline in life expectancy has been greater among Hispanic and non-Hispanic Black populations than among the non-Hispanic white population. To eliminate these disparities and those that exist in economic and social systems, an intentional focus on redressing structural and institutional racism is critical. Improving the health of the most vulnerable populations will not only boost overall health outcomes and social well-being, but also strengthen the economy and help to build a strong, equitable future.Policies to strengthen the nation's health must therefore ensure that individuals and all communities are healthy and thriving and that no one is left behind. This can be done through long-term, sustained investments to prevent disease, promote health, and prepare for and respond to continuous and urgent threats to health. Namely, by addressing social determinants of health—such as income, education, housing, employment, transportation, environmental conditions, and neighborhood conditions—policymakers can improve health, reduce racial disparities, and contribute to economic mobility.This report outlines 10 priorities for improving the nation's health.

Reproductive Justice for Disabled Women: Ending Systemic Discrimination

April 13, 2022

Access to reproductive health care continues to be eroded in the United States. In 2022 alone, 41 states have introduced more than 500 abortion restrictions, and the U.S. Supreme Court is slated to decide a case that will determine the fate of Roe v. Wade. Attacks on reproductive health care have a disproportionate impact on certain individuals and communities—particularly the disability community.Reproductive and disability justice are both human rights-based frameworks that, at their core, share fundamental similarities: They both prioritize the right to bodily autonomy and self-determination; the right to raise children—if one chooses to have them—with dignity and in a safe environment; the right to access the health care one needs, free from political interference or stigmatization; and the right to community care. Yet even with such overlaps, the reproductive justice and disability justice movements have rarely interacted due to misunderstanding and miscommunication, particularly around abortion.This report reviews the historical context of the disability and reproductive justice movements, discussing how racism, sexism, and ableism have built discriminatory structures—from barriers to accessing reproductive health services to issues around forced sterilization, sex education, guardianship, parenthood, and sexual violence—that have kept disabled people, particularly disabled people of color, from achieving reproductive equity and justice. It then discusses the work done by the Disability Justice Initiative at the Center for American Progress, which is an interdisciplinary team that utilizes a disability justice framework to study structural discrimination and its impacts on policy. Lastly, this report outlines future plans, emphasizing the importance of collaboration between the two movements.

Seeking Accountability and Justice for Crimes Committed in Ukraine

March 29, 2022

Russia's invasion of Ukraine is a clear violation of the U.N. Charter and threatens to upend the rules-based international order established after World War II. With each passing day, there are a growing number of reports of indiscriminate attacks by Russia that likely constitute war crimes. Global outcry over Russia's alleged atrocities has included war crimes accusations at the highest levels, with President Joe Biden calling Russian President Vladimir Putin "a war criminal."To ensure accountability for crimes committed—and to attempt to deter future ones—it is imperative that the international community act swiftly to pursue justice; establish accountability mechanisms where needed for those committing crimes in Ukraine, including war crimes, crimes against humanity, and the crime of aggression; and enforce penalties. While these steps are unlikely to alter Putin's current course, if Russian soldiers and lower-level leaders see that there is a unified and determined effort to ensure they will be held accountable for atrocities committed against the Ukrainian people, they may change their calculus in carrying out Putin's orders. The international community's message must be clear: Russia's acts of aggression and any human rights violations against the Ukrainian people will not go unpunished.

How Japan and South Korea Can Contribute to an International Response to a Russian Invasion of Ukraine

February 17, 2022

As Russia masses its forces on Ukraine's borders in preparation for a possible invasion of its neighbor, the Biden administration has been working to assemble an international coalition to deliver a swift and effective economic response to a Russian invasion. In the face of this global threat, the administration has been especially focused on its European allies, who are best positioned to aid Ukraine. However, the European allies are also dependent on Russian natural gas and therefore vulnerable to retaliation. Therefore, President Joe Biden and other senior officials have also focused their attention on major U.S. allies in Asia.Not only are U.S. allies in Asia critical nodes in global economic networks that could be major battlegrounds in the struggle with Russia—particularly since the Biden administration is considering applying export controls previously used against Huawei to deter Russia—but Japan and South Korea are also some of the world's most robust democracies. As the Biden administration seeks to mobilize democracies to counter attempts by Russia, China, and other authoritarian governments to undermine a rules-based international order, securing the active cooperation of Japan and South Korea would show that the right to self-government is what is at stake in Ukraine. If Russia is able to undermine Ukraine's fragile democracy and escape serious consequences, it will set a troubling precedent that could ultimately affect Asia's democracies.

How the United States Should Respond if Russia Invades Ukraine

January 25, 2022

Russian forces are massed along Ukrainian borders threatening to invade. A Russian invasion of Ukraine would be a disaster for Ukraine, for Russia, and potentially for the rules-based international system that the world has sought to construct since 1945. Avoiding war is critical, and all sides should engage diplomatically to head off conflict. However, a Russian military invasion of Ukraine is not a foregone conclusion. While such an action would be in step with other risky provocations taken by Russian President Vladimir Putin, it would be an incredibly bold, rash, and potentially ruinous one. But should Putin decide to launch another invasion of Ukraine, the United States must lead a robust response. A Russian decision to resort to force must be seen in time as a strategic defeat—a self-defeating step that would prove ruinous economically and geopolitically for the Kremlin.

State Abortion Legislation in 2021: A Review of Positive and Negative Actions

September 21, 2021

Numerous states have passed legislation this year designed to undermine or completely block access to abortion care, as they have since the U.S. Supreme Court decided Roe v. Wade in 1973. But these legislative efforts are distinct from those of previous years in two ways. First is the difference in sheer quantity: In 2021, the United States has already seen the highest number of abortion restrictions enacted in a single year, according to the Guttmacher Institute. Second is the legal context: The constitutional and judicial landscape in which this newly enacted legislation will operate, under a majority-conservative Supreme Court, is particularly tenuous.In May 2021, the Supreme Court announced that it would hear Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization, a case challenging Mississippi's 15-week abortion ban. And in September 2021, the Supreme Court allowed a Texas law, S.B. 8, to take effect. S.B. 8 effectively prohibits abortion after six weeks and creates a private right of action that allows "any person" to sue anyone who helps a person access abortion care, including abortion providers, abortion funds, family members, or friends. Both of these laws directly contradict Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey, which guarantee the right to abortion and prohibit states from barring it before the point of viability.This issue brief breaks down the abortion bans and restrictions that state legislatures have passed this year, such as the most recent law in Texas, as well as highlights states that have protected and expanded abortion rights.

A Proactive Abortion Agenda: Federal and State Policies To Protect and Expand Access

March 17, 2021

This report outlines federal- and state-level policy recommendations to advance abortion rights and access. Where relevant, the authors offer international and domestic examples of countries and states working to make abortion access meaningful for everyone—and highlight the advocacy of other organizations and providers to achieve some of these policies. Some recommendations have been covered in previous reports from the Center for American Progress, as well as other federal and state organizations leading on various issues; but the objective here is to provide a comprehensive road map for state and federal lawmakers to develop and enact policies that achieve equitable abortion access.

The Gun Industry in America: The Overlooked Player in a National Crisis

August 6, 2020

This report discusses the gaps in the current law regarding gun industry regulation and oversight. It then offers a series of policy solutions to address these gaps, including:Increasing oversight of gun manufacturers, importers, exporters, and dealersRequiring licensed gun dealers to implement security measures to prevent theftStrengthening the National Firearms Act review and determination processStrengthening oversight of homemade guns, ammunition, and silencersGiving the Consumer Product Safety Commission authority to regulate guns  and ammunition for safetyRepealing the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms ActThe high rates of gun death experienced in this country are not inevitable or, as some in the gun lobby claim, "the price of freedom." There is much more that can be done to provide better oversight and regulation of the gun industry, which would have a significant impact on reducing gun violence and making all of our communities safer.

When Confronting a Pandemic, We Must Save Nature to Save Ourselves

April 20, 2020

the COVID-19 outbreak has laid bare the need for a more proactive and integrated approach to fight infectious disease epidemics, which are becoming more common in many regions around the world. Specifically, alongside investments in epidemiological research and healthcare, we need to address the problem at its root: the destruction of nature.

How Partisan Gerrymandering Prevents Legislative Action on Gun Violence

December 17, 2019

This report examines how the pernicious problem of partisan gerrymandering stymies efforts toward sensible reforms in several states—including North Carolina, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Virginia—despite strong public support for gun safety measures. These states provide some of the most extreme examples of gerrymandering: Even though Democrats won a majority of the statewide votes, control of the state legislatures remained with Republicans who, for the most part, have refused to allow meaningful debate on any commonsense gun safety measures. In each of these states, it is likely that, in the absence of partisan gerrymandering, the legislature would have enacted measures to strengthen gun laws—measures that could have saved lives.The report also puts forward a policy solution: States should require independent commissions to draw voter-determined districts based on statewide voter preferences. Implementing this policy would end partisan gerrymandering and increase representation for communities that have too often been shut out of the political system and also suffer the most from the lack of sensible gun safety legislation

Bullet Control: How Lax Regulations on Ammunition Contribute to America’s Gun Violence Epidemic

October 7, 2019

The current national debate about gun violence is largely focused on firearms: Who should have them? What types of firearms should people be allowed to have? Where and how can they be carried? How should they be sold? Certainly, these are all crucial questions that demand a sustained and serious analysis by policymakers at all levels of government. But often missing from the conversation about firearms are questions related to ammunition—namely, the role of easy access to ammunition and ammunition accessories in the epidemic of gun violence in the United States.This report discusses the gaps in the current law regarding commerce in ammunition and the easy availability of uniquely dangerous types of ammunition and high-capacity magazines to civilians in the United States. It then offers a series of policy solutions to address these gaps.

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