Pro-life advocates lining the sidewalks outside the U.S. Supreme Court this morning had a surprise visitor to help them advocate for unborn babies and their moms.
Speaker of the House Paul Ryan made an unexpected stop at the rally and spoke to the pro-life advocates, even though abortion activists tried to disrupt the rally. The Washington Examiner reports abortion activists tried to drown out Ryan by chanting “Stop the sham.”
This morning, pro-life and pro-abortion advocates gathered outside the U.S. Supreme Court as the justices heard a challenge to a pro-life Texas law credited with saving more than 10,000 babies’ lives. The law requires abortionists to have hospital admitting privileges and abortion clinics to meet the same health and safety standards as other outpatient surgical facilities. It is responsible for closing abortion clinics that could not guarantee they could protect the health of Texas women.
Ryan, who has a strong pro-life record, told the crowd the Texas law is “common sense.”
“We are here to stand up for women and children and for the rule of law,” Ryan said. “We are the pro-life generation and we are here to stand for life.”
Alliance Defending Freedom’s Kerri Kupec tweeted about the excitement when Ryan made his surprise appearance:
— Kerri (@Kerri_Kupec) March 2, 2016
Ryan also tweeted about the experience:
Abortion advocates challenged the law, claiming that it creates an undue burden for women by restricting their access to abortion.
Interestingly, however, a report to the Texas state legislature at the time the law was adopted shows the abortion business bringing the lawsuit against it runs shoddy abortion clinics that put women’s very lives at risk. The report found that the “suction machines which were being used on patients” at Whole Wmoan’s Health clinics had “numerous rusty spots” which had “the likelihood to cause infection.” That’s just one of the shocking updates from a state department report.
“The Kermit Gosnell case in Philadelphia, among many others, sheds light on the urgent need to establish effective health and safety standards for the abortion industry. This is an industry that puts profits over people, and cannot be trusted to self-regulate,” said Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of Susan B. Anthony List.
Roger Severino, director of the Heritage Foundation’s DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society, watched the oral arguments and said he thought they went as expected. He is hopeful that Justice Anthony Kennedy, the likely swing vote in the case, will side with Texas in upholding the law.
“We had the liberal/conservative breakdown in the Court that you would expect among the justices, but Justice Kennedy, in the few questions he asked, showed some hesitation about courts second-guessing the state’s ability to regulate abortion clinics,” Severino said. “Even Justice Breyer acknowledged the state’s intent in regulating abortion clinics was a legitimate desire to help further women’s health and not for some nefarious purpose.”
“Justice Alito repeatedly challenged the plaintiffs to point to the evidence that clinics closed because of these regulations as opposed to some other reason, and asked for any evidence that the abortion industry cannot adapt to the new standards,” he added.
Severino emphasized “this case is about the ability of Texas to increase the health and safety standards at abortion clinics. The abortion industry should not get a special exemption and Texas is well within its rights to act.”
The Supreme Court has not directly addressed the issue of abortion since 2007, when the Court upheld the federal Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act in Gonzales v. Carhart. A ruling on the case, Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, is expected in June.