The U.S. Supreme Court will soon take up an abortion case in which sensible health regulations imposed on clinics by the state of Louisiana have been challenged by abortion advocates.
The state has now gained the support of nearly half of the combined Congress who called on the high court to reconsider the 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling that undergirds all “abortion rights,” The Daily Caller reported.
Challenge to Louisiana abortion law
The Supreme Court will hear arguments in March for a case involving Lousiana’s Act 620 that would require abortion providers to have admitting privileges at local hospitals — the exact same standard that is applied to all other outpatient or “ambulatory” clinics and health care providers — in order to ensure that any medical emergencies that arise out of a procedure can be properly dealt with in an appropriate time frame.
The law was challenged by abortion proponents who argued that the regulation would impose an “undue burden” on the clinics. A federal trial judge agreed, but the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals overturned that ruling, and the case was subsequently appealed to the Supreme Court, with the Lousiana law being blocked from implementation until a final ruling is issued one way or the other.
Stepping up in support of Louisiana, however, are 207 members of Congress — 39 senators and 168 representatives, including two Democrats — who filed a legal brief Thursday on behalf of the state that not only put forward arguments in favor of the legislation but also called into question the very validity of Roe and other subsequent abortion-related decisions.
Amicus brief in support of Louisiana
The legal brief began by arguing that the primary abortion provider challenging the law — June Medical Services — didn’t even have standing to challenge the state law because it lacked the necessary “close” relationship with its patients, namely due to the fact that there existed a significant “conflict of interest” in that the clinic fought against health and safety regulations that would be to the benefit of the patients.
From there the brief proceeded to document a sampling of the rather disturbing “long history of serious health and safety violations” by abortion clinics and abortion doctors in the state of Louisiana.
It was only after all of that the brief got down to the real heart of the matter — a request for the Supreme Court to reconsider and potentially even overturn the Roe v. Wade decision.
Time to reconsider Roe v. Wade
The brief pointed that while Roe is generally regarded as having settled the abortion as a right issue in 1973, that is actually far from being the case. “Forty-six years after Roe was decided, it remains a radically unsettled precedent: two of the seven Justices who originally joined the majority subsequently repudiated it in whole or in part, and virtually every abortion decision since has been closely divided,” the brief claimed.
Of particular note is the fact that several subsequent rulings from the court on the abortion issue have been confusing and contradictory — chief among them cases known as Casey and Hellerstedt — with some cases striking down certain regulations only for similar regulations to later be allowed, or for certain rulings to provide ambiguous frameworks that other courts struggle to define in later cases.
“These incessant retrenchments show that Roe has been substantially undermined by subsequent authority, a principal factor the Court considers when deciding whether to overrule precedent,” the brief stated. “Casey clearly did not settle the abortion issue, and it is time for the Court to take it up again.”
Whether the high court will actually take up a reconsideration of Roe v. Wade remains to be seen. One thing to remember, though, as the left will undoubtedly pronounce doom over the issue — an overruling of Roe wouldn’t actually make all abortions illegal across the country, but merely devolve the authority to regulate abortions to the individual states, where it belonged in the first place.