Supreme Court Will Consider State Laws That Save Babies From Abortions and Help Women

National   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Sep 30, 2019   |   11:32PM   |   Washington, DC

Both sides of the abortion debate will be watching the U.S. Supreme Court closely this week to see if it will agree to hear an abortion case.

The justices likely will release their list of new cases sometime this week, and several abortion cases are up for consideration, Bloomberg reports.

One is a Louisiana law that requires abortion providers to have hospital admitting privileges for patient emergencies. Soon after it became law in 2014, the abortion facility Hope Medical Group for Women and the pro-abortion Center for Reproductive Rights challenged it in court.

The U.S. Supreme Court struck down a similar Texas law in 2016, arguing it burdened women’s access to abortion. However, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the Louisiana law in 2018, saying it “does not impose a substantial burden on a large fraction of women.”

Newsweek predicted that the case has a “better-than-usual chance” of being accepted by the high court.

Here’s more from the report:

In February, [Chief Justice John] Roberts joined the four Democratic-appointed justices to temporarily keep the law from taking effect. Justices who vote for that type of stay order typically do so only when they are prepared to take up the underlying appeal.

But the case also presents a risk for the court’s liberal wing. Roberts dissented from the Texas ruling, and high court review of the Louisiana case would put him in position to overturn the earlier decision if he chooses.

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Rachel Morrison, a lawyer with the pro-life organization Americans United for Life, said this term should give Americans a better idea about the justices’ stances on the abortion issue. She said she does not think the court will overturn Roe v. Wade soon, but it may consider abortion limits.

“The court across the board in a lot of areas seems to take a more step-by-step approach,” she told the news outlet. “I don’t think that’s going to change when it comes to abortion anytime soon.”

Other cases up for consideration include an Indiana law that requires women to wait 18 hours after having an ultrasound to abort their unborn baby and a case involving pro-life advocates’ free speech outside of abortion facilities.

The U.S. Supreme Court currently is made up of a majority of justices who were appointed by Republican presidents. The confirmation of Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh brought renewed hope to pro-life advocates about the future of unborn babies.

However, some of the recent high court decisions have caused concerns. Roberts, a moderate, appears hesitant to accept controversial abortion cases, and he did vote with the four liberal justices to block the enforcement of the Louisiana law in February.

In May, the justices also refused to hear an appeal of an Indiana law that protects unborn babies with Down syndrome from discriminatory abortions. Their decision did not uphold or strike down the law, but it left in place a lower court order blocking the state from enforcing it.

Justice Clarence Thomas wrote an opinion urging the court to consider the case.

“… this law and other laws like it promote a State’s compelling interest in preventing abortion from becoming a tool of modern-day eugenics,” he wrote. “Although the Court declines to wade into these issues today, we cannot avoid them forever. Having created the constitutional right to an abortion, this Court is dutybound to address its scope.”

Thomas said he believes the court needs to “percolate” on the abortion issue more before hearing a major abortion case.

Only time will tell if they are ready now.