Sunday, March 15, 2020

Unsafe, Legally...

From The Federalist:
On Wednesday, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in its first abortion case since the confirmation of Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh. While outside the high court Sen. Chuck Schumer stoked the anger of abortion apologists by threatening the newest justices, inside the courtroom the lawyers representing the abortion providers cemented a new reality: that the abortion industry doesn’t want “safe, legal, and rare,”—it wants “unsafe, legally.”

That reality became clear in an exchange with Justice Kavanaugh about the Louisiana law under review in June Medical Serv. v. Russo, Sec. LA Dep’t of Health. That law requires abortion providers to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital.

A lower court had struck the Louisiana law, holding the Supreme Court’s 2016 decision in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt controlled. That decision held a Texas law requiring abortionists to maintain admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the clinic was unconstitutional. But on appeal, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals set aside Hellerstedt, reasoning that unlike the situation in Texas, the Louisiana law would not create an unconstitutional burden on a women’s “right” to abortion.

On appeal to the Supreme Court, the abortion providers argued that the Louisiana law, like the Texas law, placed an undue burden on women’s ability to access abortions. But Kavanaugh pushed their attorneys in a different direction: “If a state passed an admitting privileges law there, and suppose a state had ten clinics and two doctors for each clinic, but all 20 doctors could easily get the admitting privileges, so that there would be no effect on the clinics, no effect on the doctors who perform abortions, and, therefore, no effect on the women who obtain abortions,” Justice Kavanaugh hypothesized, “would a law be constitutional in that state?” (Read more.)

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