Supreme Court Strikes Down Texas Abortion Restrictions. In a 5-3 decision the Supreme Court has held that the two restrictions placed on abortion clinics, namely the requirement that all clinics in the state to meet the standards for ambulatory surgical centers, including regulations concerning buildings, equipment and, staffing and also requiring doctors performing abortions to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital "places a substantial obstacle in the path of women seeking a previability abortion, each constitutes an undue burden on abortion access, and each violates the Federal Constitution". The decision was authored by Breyer and was joined by Kennedy, Ginsburg, Sotomayor Elena Kagan. Roberts, Thomas, and Alito dissented. [more inside]
“To the world, I am an attorney who had an abortion, and, to myself, I am an attorney because I had an abortion." The Center for Reproductive Rights and law firm Paul Weiss submitted an amicus brief [pdf] to the U.S. Supreme Court signed by 113 attorneys, detailing the importance of abortion rights in their own lives. [more inside]
This morning, the Supreme Court heard arguments in Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. and Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp. v. Sebelius, two cases where private corporations have challenged the Affordable Care Act's contraception coverage mandate. Previously, and previously [more inside]
"Better known as the “Jane Roe” in the landmark Supreme Court case Roe v. Wade, Norma McCorvey has led a conflicted life. Forty years ago, she was at the center of the court decision that famously legalized abortion. Today, she is a zealous anti-abortion advocate." Why did McCorvey turn against the cause she once championed? Tracing the life of an Accidental Activist. Via
Jennie Linn McCormack "isn’t the only woman in recent years to be prosecuted for ending her own pregnancy. But her case could change the trajectory of abortion law in the United States": The Rise of DIY Abortions. [more inside]
New Justices, New Rules: How the Supreme Court's Validation of the Federal Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act Affects Women's Constitutional Liberty and Equality. A two-part FindLaw analysis of Gonzales v. Carhart.
The Supreme Court has upheld the federal ban on "Partial-Birth Abortion," in a 5-4 decision. The federal ban provides no exceptions for the health of the mother, the reason previous Courts overturned the law. Justice Kennedy argued the law banning the procedure should stay, as opponents "have not demonstrated that the Act would be unconstitutional in a large fraction of relevant cases." In a scathing dissent, Justice Ginsburg alluded to the politics of recent judicial appointments, noting "...the Court's defense of it cannot be understood as anything other than an effort to chip away at a right declared again and again by this Court -- and with increasing comprehension of its centrality to women's lives. A decision of the character the Court makes today should not have staying power."
South Dakota House approves sweeping abortion ban Although saying they personally abhor abortion, opponents made several unsuccessful attempts to make exceptions in cases of rape and incest, and to protect pregnant women whose health may be endangered.
The Supreme Court decided Ayotte v. Planned Parenthood today, vacating the lower court's ruling that the parental notification statute was unconstitional. Instead, the Court instructed the lower court to consider narrower relief. The Court, in an opinion [pdf] written by Justice O'Connor, held that if enforcing a statute that regulates access to abortion would be unconstitutional in medical emergencies, invalidating the statute entirely is not always necessary or justified, for lower courts may be able to render narrower declaratory and injunctive relief. [more inside]
National Organization for Women v. Scheidler Is being heard by SCOTUS today. The case may decide whether non-violent civil disobedience can be prosecuted under federal RICO laws. Here's the ACLU's amicus brief. And comments from NRO's Rod Dreher.