While laws legalizing the murder of infants up until the moment of birth – or even after, as some have suggested – seems to be perfectly acceptable, laws upping the standards for abortion clinics to protect women from physical harm are apparently where we draw the line.
At least, that’s according to the Supreme Court.
SCOTUS Chief Justice John Roberts joined with liberals on the highest court in the land Friday to block a Louisiana law that would have required abortion clinics to have admitting privileges with a nearby hospital in case of a medical emergency following an abortion procedure. The law also stipulated that clinics had a 45-day grace period in which to obtain these relationships.
Abortion proponents say the new requirement would have forced two of the state’s three remaining abortion clinics to close, arguing that very few early abortion procedures require hospitalization. Louisiana law currently allows elective abortions up to 20 weeks, except in cases that threaten the life or physical health of the mother.
However, many Louisiana lawmakers disagreed, claiming that the new requirements ensure women have the necessary access to emergency medical care and that the state’s few abortion clinics hadn’t tried very hard to obtain the needed connections with their local hospitals.
One important distinction is that the 5-4 SCOTUS decision didn’t actually issue a ruling on the merits of the law, but it does suggest that the majority of justices on the nation’s top bench have concerns as to whether or not the requirement is constitutional. The court’s four conservative justices, including recently appointed Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, dissented from the majority opinion.
Meanwhile, in New York, the state's new relaxed abortion laws allow a woman to obtain an elective abortion through the third trimester of pregnancy, including the abortion of perfectly healthy, fully-formed children. And, while a similar measure has been blocked for now in Virginia, Massachusetts Democrats are seeking to follow suit with their own expanded late-term abortion rules.