Sun. Jun 23rd, 2024

Supreme Court to rule on pivotal abortion cases two years after overturning Roe v. Wade

By 37ci3 Jun9,2024



WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court is poised to rule on two major abortion cases with significant nationwide implications this month, as the justices decide Roe v. He is re-examining the case for the first time since the case against Wade was overturned.

The decision to end abortion rights in 2022 shocked the country, sparked a new wave of state restrictions on abortion, and emboldened anti-abortion activists to seek other ways to limit the practice.

In the most closely watched case, the court is considering whether to impose new restrictions on the commonly used abortion pill mifepristone, including new restrictions on access by mail.

In another less prominent case, but one that could have far-reaching implications of its own, the justices are considering whether Idaho’s abortion ban conflicts with a federal law that requires emergency medical care for sick people, including pregnant women.

Rabia Muqaddam, a lawyer at the Center for Reproductive Rights, an abortion rights group, said the 2022 decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization “set off a chain reaction that we’ve seen all along,” including two cases. now before the court.

Theories previously considered “fringe” are now “reasonable enough to reach the Supreme Court,” he said.

New cases show that the court’s task of deciding what conservative Justice Brett Kavanaugh called “difficult moral and policy questions” was easier to get out of than it was to accomplish. So the upcoming rulings will provide further evidence of how far the 6-3 conservative court is willing to go in restricting access to abortion.

In the mifepristone case, the court is considering whether to impose new restrictions on the pill’s availability, including access by mail. Such a move would dramatically reduce women’s ability to purchase the pill, especially in states with new abortion restrictions.

The legal question in the Idaho case is whether a federal law requiring the stabilization of patients in emergency rooms trumps state restrictions in certain cases where doctors believe an abortion is required to protect a pregnant woman’s health.

In both cases, Jim Campbell, chief legal counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom, a conservative Christian rights group that represents anti-abortion interests, said the legal challenges in each reflect the Biden administration’s overreach in response to overturning Roe.

“Both are cases where the federal government directly or indirectly acted to interfere with state law,” he said.

Based on oral arguments earlier this year, it appears so anti-abortion groups will lose in the case of mifepristone, it leaves the status quo unchanged. That means the Idaho case could have greater practical impact if the court upholds the state seems possible based on the questions asked by the judges.

Decisions are expected by the end of the month, when the court traditionally ends its nine-month term, which begins in October. The court will also rule on a number of other hot-button issues, including former President Donald Trump’s claim of immunity from prosecution in the election meddling case.

The next judge’s day is Thursday.

The Mifepristone case attracted attention nationwide attention last year, when a federal judge in Texas issued a sweeping ruling that completely invalidated the Food and Drug Administration’s approval of the pill, casting doubt on its existence.

The Supreme Court quickly put that decision on hold, and the scope of the case narrowed slightly as it went through the appeals process.

Decisions that facilitate obtaining FDA approval of a drug only after, rather than before, a trial, including a finding that makes the drug available by mail order.

In oral arguments, the justices asked whether a group of doctors opposed to abortion had legal standing simply because they objected to abortion, and whether they could be required to provide emergency medical care to women suffering complications from abortion in certain hypothetical situations. pill

The Idaho case hinges on whether Idaho’s abortion ban conflicts with a federal law called the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act, or EMTALA.

The Biden administration is doing this because the Idaho ban contains only a narrow exception to save the life of a pregnant woman. The administration argues that EMTALA requires more than that, meaning doctors must be able to perform abortions in broader emergencies where a woman’s health is at risk, even if there is no risk of death.

Idaho officials have played down the tension between the two laws, saying the federal law does not supersede the state’s own laws governing health care.

In January, the Supreme Court allowed Idaho to enforce its law, prompting the state’s St. Luke’s Health System to say it was required to. to airlift patients out of state for abortions to take place out of concern that their doctors might be prosecuted.

A sweeping decision in Idaho’s favor would affect at least a handful of states with abortion bans similar to Idaho’s, which does not have a health exception. Abortion is effectively banned in 14 states, but laws vary in the rare cases where abortion may be permitted to protect the health of the pregnant woman.

Although abortion rights advocates now hope to win the mifepristone case on a standing issue, they fear a loss in the Idaho dispute and insist that such a result should not be seen as some sort of concession by the Supreme Court.

Attorney Alexa Colby-Molinas said the ruling in favor of Idaho officials “will be a new low for the Supreme Court, regardless of whether a technical legal question is correct in another abortion case.” The American Civil Liberties Union, which supports abortion rights advocates in both cases.

He noted that if the anti-abortion side loses the standing issue in the mifepristone case, the case could still go back to court with different plaintiffs who may have a better argument for standing, leading to a later decision on the merits. from the claims.

“Even if we live to fight another day … we know our opponents are not finished in this situation,” Colby-Molinas added.

ADF’s Campbell said he would evaluate each case separately if the court were to rule in favor of his side in the EMTALA case and against the FDA’s mifepristone regulations.

“I would consider the EMTALA decision a significant victory and the FDA decision a failure,” he said.




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