USA – When a commitment to precedent rings hollow

The June Medical ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court illustrates how relying on stare decisis can only go so far in ensuring abortion access.

by Jennifer Taylor
3 Jul 2020

We often hear that we’re living in “unprecedented times.” What is not unprecedented is the precarious status of abortion access in the United States (and parts of Canada, too). While abortion rights seem slightly safer after the decision of the United States Supreme Court in June Medical Services LLC v Russo, this is a shaky victory.

If anything, June Medical proves that precedent is slippery — and political.

Continued: https://www.nationalmagazine.ca/en-ca/articles/law/opinion/2020/when-a-commitment-to-precedent-rings-hollow


Democrats dodge abortion fight with plan to keep Hyde Amendment

It's a disappointment for the left, which has long sought to scrap the anti-abortion provision.

By SARAH FERRIS and HEATHER CAYGLE
07/02/2020

House Democrats will keep a decades-old ban on government funding for abortion in spending bills this year, dodging an election-year clash with Republicans and disappointing liberal lawmakers and activists.

Senior Democrats had been considering scrapping the so-called Hyde amendment, which has restricted federal funding for most abortion services since 1976, amid a hard push from the party’s left flank.

Continued: https://www.politico.com/news/2020/07/02/hyde-amendment-abortion-democrats-348272


U.S. Supreme Court rebuffs abortion clinic protest zone challenges

Lawrence Hurley
July 2, 2020

WASHINGTON, July 2 (Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday left in place policies in Chicago and Pennsylvania’s capital Harrisburg that place limits on anti-abortion activists gathered outside abortion clinics.

The justices declined to hear two appeals by anti-abortion groups and individual activists of lower court rulings upholding the cities’ ordinances.

Continued: https://uk.reuters.com/article/usa-court-abortion-zones/us-supreme-court-rebuffs-abortion-clinic-protest-zone-challenges-idUKL2N25U1ND


BC’s Online Abortion Services Increasing Access in Pandemic

The number of clinics offering access to needed medication without physical appointments has tripled.

Moira Wyton, Today | TheTyee.ca
July 2, 2020

Two clinics that began offering online abortion services during the pandemic are seeing a surge in patients, highlighting the lack of reproductive health services available for patients outside the Lower Mainland.

Before the pandemic hit, the Willow Clinic in Vancouver was the only place in B.C. offering abortion services without requiring an in-person visit.

But the pandemic encouraged Vancouver’s Elizabeth Bagshaw Clinic and sister clinic Everywoman’s Health Centre to move ahead more quickly with plans to offer the service, tripling the number of clinics patients can choose from to obtain the required medication.

Continued: https://thetyee.ca/News/2020/07/02/BC-Online-Abortion-Services/


Abortion Media Coverage Is “Deeply, and Problematically, Politicized” Says Study

7/1/2020
by Zoe Larkin

Throughout the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, anti-abortion advocates have capitalized on the chaos to attack reproductive rights.

Although abortion is time-sensitive, officials throughout the U.S. declared it a nonessential service, denying women the right to reproductive justice under the guise of pandemic control. The move was swiftly condemned by many major medical organizations—but opportunistic attacks on reproductive freedom remain abundant.

Continued: https://msmagazine.com/2020/07/01/abortion-media-coverage-is-deeply-and-problematically-politicized-says-study/


USA – Think Abortion Rights Are Safe Now? Maybe Not

July 01, 2020
Sarah Boonin

Abortion rights advocates have reason to be relieved with the Supreme Court’s opinion Monday.

In a move that surprised many -- including me -- Chief Justice John Roberts joined the four liberal justices and struck down a Louisiana law that would have greatly limited the number of abortions in the state, forcing many of the state's most vulnerable women to travel long distances, face delays or forgo care altogether. The court’s ruling in June Medical Services v. Russo will allow the state's remaining clinics to continue serving the 10,000 women who seek abortions annually.

Continued: https://www.wbur.org/cognoscenti/2020/07/01/abortion-supreme-court-june-medical-services-sarah-boonin


‘I Can’t Focus on Abortion Access if My People Are Dying’

Some Gen Z and millennial women said they viewed abortion rights as important but less urgent than other social justice causes. Others said racial disparities in reproductive health must be a focus.

By Emma Goldberg
June 30, 2020

Like many young Americans, Brea Baker experienced her first moment of political outrage after the killing of a Black man. She was 18 when Trayvon Martin was shot. When she saw his photo on the news, she thought of her younger brother, and the boundary between her politics and her sense of survival collapsed.

In college she volunteered for the N.A.A.C.P. and as a national organizer for the Women’s March. But when conversations among campus activists turned to abortion access, she didn’t feel the same sense of personal rage.

Continued: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/30/us/politics/abortion-supreme-court-gen-z.html


I run a Louisiana abortion clinic. Despite Supreme Court win, I’m nervous for our future.

States have passed hundreds of anti-abortion laws in the last few years. At the Supreme Court, we were successful in striking down just one.

Kathaleen Pittman, Opinion contributor
June 30, 2020

For six years, my lawyers have been fighting a law that would have shut down the abortion clinic I run in Shreveport, Louisiana — Hope Medical Group for Women. On Monday, we won in the U.S. Supreme Court, which struck down the law, meaning we can stay open for our patients. I am relieved that the court saw through Louisiana’s deceitful attempts to shut us down, but I'm still deeply worried.

I wish the relentless attempts by politicians to shut down our clinic would finally stop. I know they won’t.

Continued:  https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/voices/2020/06/30/supreme-court-june-medical-services-abortion-rights-access-column/3283212001/


US top court strikes down law limiting abortions

US top court strikes down law limiting abortions

29 June 2020

The US Supreme Court has ruled that a law restricting abortions in Louisiana is
unconstitutional.

In a landmark decision, the justices said a law requiring that doctors who
provide abortions have the right to admit patients at a local hospital placed
an undue burden on women.

Continued: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-53224443


The Supreme Court’s abortion decision seems pulled from the ‘Casey’ playbook

The Supreme Court’s
abortion decision seems pulled from the ‘Casey’ playbook

Opinion by Melissa Murray
June 29, 2020

Depicted as a serpent or a dragon eating its own tail, the ouroboros in Greek
mythology was interpreted as a symbol of eternal renewal — the infinite cycle
of life, death and rebirth. Now, the ouroboros lives on in the Supreme Court’s
abortion jurisprudence and in the court’s invocation of the doctrine of stare
decisis.

Latin for “let the decision stand,” stare decisis has shaped the court’s
abortion jurisprudence — and the public debate over abortion rights. Consider
the calls to overrule Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision that
recognized a woman’s right to choose an abortion. Although abortion opponents
insist that Roe is both morally abhorrent and constitutionally unprincipled,
the court, citing deference to precedent, has declined multiple invitations to
overrule the decision.

Continued: https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/06/29/problem-with-relying-precedent-protect-abortion-rights/