Monday, May 19, 2014

Abortionists Forced to Risk All in Supreme Court

Abortionists see little choice but a go-for-broke strategy hoping the U.S. Supreme Court will stem the flood of state-level, abortion-restricting laws that have resulted from the ever-increasing pro-life attitude of Americans.
"I think it is a huge risk."
-- Heather Busby, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Texas

"The stakes are fantastically high [but pro-choice advocates] may view themselves as having no choice."
-- Tom Goldstein, partner at Goldstein & Russell and the cofounder and publisher of SCOTUSblog
UPDATE 6/10/15: Supreme Court 'Hail Mary' for Texas Abortionists

For background, click headlines below to read previous articles:

Democrats Restrict Abortion in Louisiana and South Carolina

Abortionists Lament Ever-greater State Limits

Abortion Clinic Closings Set Record; Admit Defeat

New Arizona Law Allows Raids of Abortion Clinics

Abortion Rate Declines, Democrats Want More Access

UPDATE 8/31/14: Abortionists Battle to Kill Without Clinics

-- From "Why Abortion-Rights Activists Should Fear the Supreme Court" by Sophie Novack and Sam Baker, National Journal 5/18/14

The movement is trying to roll back a wave of state laws that have successfully curtailed access to abortion, and their best hope for doing so—perhaps their only hope for doing so—is likely a ruling from the Supreme Court. . . .

But it's also a move that could backfire: The advocates have no guarantee the Court will rule in their favor. The panel is divided and exceedingly difficult to forecast, and it could issue an unfavorable ruling that would not only sanction the Texas law—but also pave the legal way for new antiabortion laws nationwide.

Both sides agree the [Texas] case would not present a clear opening for the Supreme Court to revisit Roe v. Wade—the landmark case that established a woman's right to have an abortion. Instead, the relevant case would be Planned Parenthood v. Casey, in which the Court said states can impose limitations on abortion as long as they don't create an "undue burden" to abortion access.

Casey was decided in 1992, and for two decades the Court has been largely mute on what constitutes an "undue burden." The risk for abortion-rights advocates, then, is that the high court could say Texas's restrictions don't rise to that level—clearing the way for other states to erect hurdles as high or higher than the ones in Texas.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Abortion Rules Set For Trial in Wisconsin, Alabama" by Marti Mikkelson, WUWM 89.7 NPR (Milwaukee Public Radio) 5/19/14

Abortion rules move into federal court Monday in Alabama – and then next week, in Wisconsin. Both states have adopted laws that prohibit doctors from performing abortions unless the provider has admitting privileges at a nearby hospital. Many do not.

. . . several other states are involved in lawsuits over abortion rules. They include Mississippi, Texas and Arizona. So it appears the overall issue of whether government can regulate abortions, will eventually head to the U.S. Supreme Court.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Alabama abortion law set for federal trial" by Brian Lyman, Montgomery Advertiser 5/17/14

U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson is scheduled to hear opening arguments Monday on the 2013 statute, which requires every physician connected with an abortion clinic to have admitting privileges at a local hospital. Supporters say the provision is aimed at protecting women's health. Opponents say the purpose is to close clinics.

Planned Parenthood Southeast, which operates clinics in Birmingham and Mobile, and Montgomery-based Reproductive Health Services sued to block the admitting privileges requirement last June . . .

Similar laws have been passed in other states, and all have invited legal action. To date, only Texas' version of the statute has gone into effect. A trial on a similar law in Wisconsin is set to begin later this month. However Thompson's ruling goes, his decision is likely to be appealed, and the issue could ultimately end up in the hands of the U.S. Supreme Court.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Court battles loom on abortion clinic restrictions" by Marsha Shuler, New Orleans Advocate 5/18/14

With a highly restrictive abortion bill awaiting Gov. Bobby Jindal’s certain signature, the constitutionality of similar laws recently passed in other states is being argued in the legal arena.

[The Louisiana law] would require abortion providers to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of where the procedure is performed. Such a privilege allows a physician to admit patients to a particular facility and treat them on the premises.

In Louisiana, abortion clinics in Baton Rouge, New Orleans and Metairie are expected to close with passage of the requirement, according to legislative testimony. That would leave two — in Shreveport and Bossier City.

Pro-abortion-rights groups are closely watching Louisiana, Oklahoma and Pennsylvania. The Louisiana legislation is expected to go to Jindal’s desk as early as next week for signing into law. He has said he will sign the measure.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

UPDATE 5/23/14: CBS News reports on clinic closings

From "Mississippi’s Lone Abortion Clinic Fights For Its Survival" by Debbie Elliott, NPR (posted at KPBS San Diego, CA) 4/28/14

The Jackson Women's Health Organization . . . Mississippi's only abortion clinic is fighting to remain open in the face of ever-tightening state regulations. The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans [is considering] a state law that requires abortion providers to have hospital admitting privileges.

Last week, Mississippi Republican Gov. Phil Bryant signed a new law that bans abortion after 20-weeks gestation, and he's vigorously defending the 2012 law that is before the court. It requires doctors who perform abortions in the state to be board-certified OB-GYNs, and have privileges to admit patients at a local hospital.

Inside Jackson Women's Health Organization, there's growing uncertainly over how much longer the doors will be open. Dr. Willie Parker flies in from Chicago to perform abortions at the clinic, one of two physicians who come to Mississippi to provide abortion care.

"Under the Supreme Court's rulings, this law would definitely constitute what's called an 'undue burden' because it would really block women's access to safe, legal abortion throughout the state of Mississippi," [abortion advocate BeBe] Anderson says. "Therefore it's unconstitutional."

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

Also read Democrats' Life Mission is to Kill the Unborn, Says Mississippi Governor, and so it's no surprise that a Mississippi Abortionist Says God Called Me to Kill Babies

From "Abortion Opponents Find Winning Strategy In Ohio" by Alan Greenblatt, NPR 5/6/14

Outright bans after certain stages in pregnancy in Arkansas and North Dakota have been struck down by federal courts in recent weeks. But imposing restrictions on clinics — such as requiring their physicians to have admitting privileges at neighboring hospitals — has led a number of them to shut down.

The Supreme Court upheld such restrictions in Texas last fall.

In Ohio, four of the state's 14 abortion clinics have shut down over the past year, with three more in legal peril.

[Mike] Gonidakis, the Ohio Right to Life president, says that pushing for a ban is all well and good but credits the 10 separate restrictions the state has imposed since 2010 with helping to reduce the number of abortions actually performed in the state. (The annual total is down by half from its 1981 peak.)

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Real Goal of Abortion ‘Limits’: Bans" by The New York Times Editorial Board 5/10/14

. . . in state after state, with the enthusiastic support of Republican lawmakers, it has become increasingly difficult, if not impossible, for women to get safe and legal abortion care.

. . . The [5th] Circuit Court should not hesitate to reject what amounts to a statewide abortion ban. The outcome should not be influenced by a dreadful decision in March from a different panel of the same federal appeals court that misapplied the Supreme Court’s undue burden standard to uphold a similar hospital affiliation rule in Texas. The panel reasoned, in part, that while the rule might force some clinics to close, others would remain open.

. . . Beyond Texas and Mississippi, mandates requiring affiliation with local hospitals are nearing legislative passage or are under court review in Alabama, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Wisconsin. As it is, there are few abortion clinics left in those states, so closing even one more would significantly diminish capacity. Time is running out to stop this spreading peril.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

Also read Planned Parenthood President Asks, Who Cares When Life Begins? as well as President Obama Asks God to Bless Planned Parenthood