Second in the License to Abort Little Ones series
On Wednesday, March 4, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on Louisiana’s 2014 Unsafe Abortion Protection Act, and La. is excited! We should be, too. This case could affect the outcome of the Kentucky Transfer Agreement (TA) case that currently awaits resolution at the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Will the TA panel of judges wait to hear the SCOTUS decision on the Unsafe Abortion Protection Act before handing down its ruling for Kentucky? There is a common sense practice of not investing too much time when it is known that a similar case may affect a lower court ruling.
The Appellate Court does NOT share any information on when an opinion will be issued. SCOTUS may not rule for many months, and the Sixth Circuit Court may wish to get our TA case off their docket soon. No one knows.
The La. case is similar to a Texas case which SCOTUS ruled against in 2016.
The Texas provisions under debate in the case required that abortion clinics be licensed as ambulatory care facilities with all the amenities of a surgical center, and that clinic doctors have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the clinic.
"Both the admitting-privileges and the surgical-center requirements place a substantial obstacle in the path of women seeking a previability abortion, constitute an undue burden on abortion access, and thus violate the Constitution," said the 5-3 decision authored by Justice Stephen Breyer. Read more.
Breyer’s decision was joined by Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Elena Kagan, Anthony Kennedy and Sonia Sotomayor. Barak Obama applauded it.
Like the Texas case, the La. law requires the abortion clinic to have formal agreements with local hospitals allowing them to transfer patients if needed.
Pundits have observed that SCOTUS accepted the La. case to review because of its new composition that includes Judges Gorsuch and Kavanaugh. Otherwise it would have stood on precedent because of the similarity of the cases.
So, if Judges Breyer, Ginsburg, Kagan and Sotomayor vote to disallow the La. law, will Chief Justice John Roberts join Kavanaugh, Gorsuch, Thomas and Alito, assuming they vote to uphold it?
An article on LifeNews.com encourages pro-lifers to be aware of this SCOTUS trial and to actively make known your concern for aborted women’s safety.