Supreme Court and Abortion: What’s in the Pipeline
With the recent confirmation of Justice Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, there is much discussion as to what the future of abortion in America is.
The short answer is that abortion on demand in America may be a thing of the past sooner rather than later. There are a number of cases “in the pipeline” U.S. Supreme Court that could be heard in the current term or near future that could overturn Roe v Wade in part or in full. A favorable decision on these cases would once again give states the ability to protect the most vulnerable of our citizenry – our unborn brothers and sisters in the womb.
There are three general categories of case that are approaching the Supreme Court:
Limiting taxpayer dollars going to abortion providers (i.e. de-fund Planned Parenthood and its ilk.)
Limiting certain types of abortion and/or stopping discriminatory abortions
Involving health, safety, and informed consent laws.
Some of the cases that could eventually reach the Supreme Court include:
Prohibiting state Medicaid funds in Louisiana and Kansas going to Planned Parenthood. Similar laws in South Carolina and Ohio are currently at the appellate court level.
The grisly method of dismemberment abortion D&E (Dilation and Evacuation) which tears the baby apart in the womb, followed by removal of the body parts one by one, is currently limited in nine states, and two cases are currently pending before appeals courts. Laws in Kansas, Kentucky, Oklahoma, and Louisiana are either currently blocked by federal courts or are not in effect. We just need one of these cases to make it to the Supreme Court to challenge the nationwide abortion on demand. Currently in Mississippi and West Virginia, bans against D&E abortions are in effect.
Twelve states prohibit discrimination in abortion when based on the baby’s sex, race, or disability. An Ohio law banning abortion of children with Down syndrome and an Indiana law banning abortions due to sex, race or disability could be reviewed by the Supreme Court.
In Comprehensive Health of Planned Parenthood Great Plains v Hawley, the Eighth Circuit overruled a lower court ruling that blocked a Missouri law requiring abortionists to have authorization to perform surgeries at a hospital within 15 minutes of their abortion facility. It was sent back to the lower court for more fact finding. A Kentucky law requiring abortion facilities to have transfer agreements with a hospital was found unconstitutional by a trial court, but the state may appeal the decision to the Sixth Circuit Court.
Medical Abortion (RU-486) is growing across the United States. While the total abortion statistics continue to decline, medical abortions are rising, now making up over a third of all abortions. A case from Arkansas to protect women and their babies from medical abortions was denied review by the Supreme Court; however, ongoing litigation may bring this law back to the appellate court and then back to the Supreme Court. A similar law in Missouri is on hold pending the outcome of the Arkansas case.
A Kentucky law on mandatory ultrasounds and Indiana involving an 18 hour waiting period are also currently pending in federal appeals court.
And finally an appeals court is considering a case involving an Alabama law on parental consent before a minor can have an abortion.