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tv   Ros Atkins on... Americas...  BBC News  December 4, 2021 6:45pm-7:01pm GMT

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lead to ensure hosts are big enough lead to ensure victory over their rivals. in the united rugby championship 1a points from stephen myler set up an ospreys victory over high—flying ulster. lions beat stormers in the day's other match. that's all from sportsday. up next here on bbc news is ros atkins explaining how us abortion rights look set to be changed by the supreme court. in 1973, the us supreme court made a ruling known as roe v wade. it gave women in america new abortion rights. now, the same court looks set to take some of those rights away. it's pretty monumental because this
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is the first time in a generation that there is a direct challenge to the constitutional right to an abortion. there have been challenges on other things, restrictions on abortions, but this is directly saying that the right should be overturned. an issue that once looked at being settled is now far from it. and the reasons for that reach from the politics of right now all the way back to the �*705 and �*80s. the most immediate reason is one state law, passed in mississippi, which is a southern conservative state. the law is yet to be enacted but it bans abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy. and as lawmakers in mississippi well know, roe v wade gives women the right to an abortion up to what is called the stage of foetal viability, which comes around 2a weeks. this is a constitutional right. the mississippi case is a deliberate and direct challenge to that. the challenge being issued in washington at the supreme court on both sides of the argument acknowledge the importance
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of this moment. we're very excited. we think this is a great case, it is a great law and we look forward to seeing what the court does. we are very concerned that anything short of a complete repudiation of what has happened in mississippi with the legislation is going to be really damaging for access to reproductive health and reproductive freedom in this country. now, the mississippi law reaching the supreme court is one part of why america has reached this moment. next, we need to take a step back because the timing of this law is not by chance. its backers know the supreme court has changed. here are the current nine supreme courtjustices. three of them are appointed by donald trump when he was president and because of them, the court leans decisively towards conservative justices. politics around the court are much more pronounced than they were in 1973. indeed, some argue, roe v wade helped start that politicisation. whatever the reason, the politics of the appointments are now undeniable, though
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the justices themselves strongly reject any suggestion they are political actors. but as the supreme court began its considerations this week, one of the liberaljustices warned that this could be a perception. now, not all people smell a stench but it is beyond dispute that the system of presidential appointments have become profoundly political. and after donald trump's choices, the supreme court is more conservative. some us states see that as a chance.
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this is elizabeth nash from the guttmacher institute. it opposes a reduction in abortion rights and it details how individual us states have enacted 106 abortion restrictions so far in 2021 — the highest number in a single year since roe v wade. the states are escalating their efforts. now, to be clear, most of those restrictions have not come into effect — they have been challenged or struck down. but that, in some ways, was the intention. they are designed to provoke a challenge which may then go to the supreme court, and that's what's happened with mississippi. as well as this, a number of states are also poised to act still further. this campaigner explains.
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that half of the us looks like this. the states marked in red are either certain or likely to restrict or even ban abortion if the supreme court allows them to. so the shift in the make—up of the supreme court prompted states to act, which now prompts the court to make a new ruling. and mike pence, who was vice president in the trump administration, is clear on what he wants to happen next. we are asking the court in no uncertain terms to make history. we are asking the supreme court of the united states to overturn roe v wade and restore the sanctity of life to the centre of american law. trump's supreme court appointments are certainly a major factor and there is no doubt he received support from evangelical christians in the 2016 election forjust this outcome. but a conservative supreme court is not the full story. go back to 1973 and the court leaned
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conservative then as well. and as npr tells us: . the supreme court's make—up today matters today but it does not alone explain why this is happening. because, away from the court, abortion has become a much more divisive and explicitly political issue than it used to be. one new york times columnist put it this way, writing: . and polling from the time backs this up. then look at this — a poll conducted this year. 70% of democrats are pro—abortion rights, 74% of republicans are anti—abortion rights. the issue has become politically polarised. there is no single cause for that, but both parties have fallen firmly behind their positions. high—profile democrats who are anti—abortion rights are much rarer, and there's the increasingly close alignment
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of christian organisations and the republican party. resisting political liberals and resisting abortion rights have become intertwined, and you will frequently hear the language of christianity on the issue of abortion. here's an example. this is the texas governor greg abbott in may as he signed a bill outlawing abortion at six weeks of pregnancy. our creator endowed us with the right to life and yet, millions of children lose their right to life every year because of abortion. of course, many americans don't see it this way, but all of these factors help explain why this is happening now. and now it is happening, there are reasons why this particular case is so significant. the first is that the supreme court appears minded to act. the court could have taken less explosive cases. instead, it took this one and probably with the intent of upholding this law. and the reason it's significant is that roe v wade says there's a right to choose abortion
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until foetal viability, which is usually around the 24th week — a full nine weeks after mississippi's law takes effect. comments byjustice brett kavanaugh this week have backed up those who think the court will act. some change looks very likely and that could pave the way for states to be able to choose their own approach to abortion. that would mean american women having different rights according to where they live, and there is concern the loss of the constitutional right to an abortion would force some women to take dangerous risks. i'm very frightened about what — and what — you know, i do believe that many of us will go back to coat hangers and back alleys. you know, women will find ways to terminate pregnancies. this issue of access to abortion care is identified by the world health organization
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as a global health matter. it says: . but faced with the criticism that these new laws risk women's safety, their supporters offer reassurances like these. in texas, we protect innocent human life and for years now — for years — we've been coming alongside the mothers, providing more funding, more help for expectant mothers. we don't just forget about them after the child comes along. we want to support those mothers while we protect that innocent human life. here and with so many aspects of this issue, we see two very different views of what is for a woman to decide and what is for the law to decide, and both are uncompromising. from this law professor... there is no scientific disagreement that a woman is carrying a live human being in her womb and states should be allowed to prevent
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the killing of human beings. this protester in texas... and as we can consider why america has reached this moment and why it matters so much, also let's consider this — polling earlier this year found that overall, 59% of us adults say abortion should be legal in all or most cases, while 39% say it should be illegal. and then this is the same poll in 1995. despite the political polarisation, there remains a solid majority in favour of abortion rights. butjudicial and political power don't always match the majority and in 2016, having won fewer votes than hillary clinton and 46% overall, donald trump became president of america and when he was required to, he selected three supreme courtjustices.
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it was a political triumph for him and for the christian right. the consequences of that election and those appointments now look likely to deliver a culmination ofa 50—year campaign to reduce abortion rights. hello, there. a week ago, it was storm arwen battering the uk, today, the weather hasn't been as bad. the best of the conditions too much of the day have been to south—eastern england but even there, a chilly feel, a strong north—westerly wind sweeping across most of the areas and another area of low pressure. and a bit like arwen, this one is moving southward over the north sea but this one is nowhere near as deep, the wind is nowhere near as strong. but near that area of low pressure, we have seen the wettest of the weather today, notjust rain, some snow,
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particularly in higher parts of scotland and will continue to see this wintry mix in scotland. perhaps in northern england as well, over the hills. the wetter weather moving southwards into more areas of england and wales. and out towards the west, we do see some clearer spells and those showers are becoming fewer but the wind is blowing strong enough, generally speaking, to keep temperatures just above freezing. it will be a chilly start during tomorrow morning and some clouds across england and wales, especially eastern areas, becoming drier in the day and across western parts, it brightens up, the winds drop, with lighter winds developing in northern ireland, it will feel much better than today, temperatures a little higher. as we head into the beginning of next week, we start to see weather coming in from the atlantic. this first front coming in from the west are bringing rain to many areas, especially during the morning, maybe some snow
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across higher parts of scotland, onto the pennines for a while. a band of wet weather may move through and then we see it brightening up with more of these showers coming in, especially to scotland and northern ireland, and this again could turn wintry. cold still on monday and temperatures only four degrees in newcastle and perhaps eight in london. of more concern is what is happening tuesday into wednesday. the steepening of low pressure races in from the atlantic, meaning pressure will be falling rapidly, the winds will strengthen, there will be rain and perhaps snow for a while in scotland but the strength of the wind will be more of a concern on tuesday and into wednesday, the potential for damaging winds at the moment more likely in the west.
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this is bbc news with me, alice baxter. the latest headlines in the uk and around the world: predeparture tests will be required for all uk arrivals from tuesday to stop the spread of the omicron variant, as nigeria is added to the travel red list. we're see an increasing number of cases linked to travel and again, we've always said we would act swiftly if we need to, if the changing data required that, and that's why we have decided to bring in this change on predeparture tests. the parents of a teenager accused of the fatal shooting of four us high school students using a gun bought by his father appear in court, where they have pleaded not guilty to manslaughter charges. at least one person has been killed and dozens injured on the indonesian island ofjava as a volcano erupts,
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sending up a huge ash cloud.


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