Abortion foes vent disappointment after Supreme Court ruling

Anti-abortion activists demonstrate in front of the US Supreme Court

Reprinted from Baptist Press (www.baptistpress.com), news service of the Southern Baptist Convention.

Republican U.S. Sen. Susan Collins of ME is under renewed political scrutiny Monday for supporting the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, in the wake of the Court's divided decision that struck down a Louisiana law restricting abortion. But of course they were hoping that the court in 2020 with two new conservative justices would see the admitting privileges law differently.

In an interview on "Fox & Friends" with host Brian Kilmeade, Severino said that Monday's 5-4 decision labeling the law - which mandates individuals who perform abortions to have admitting privileges in a hospital - as unconstitutional was especially "frustrating" because Roberts contradicted himself.

Southern Baptist ethicist Russell Moore described the ruling as "disappointing and wrong-headed".

But critics said the controversial law would limit the number of providers in the state, violating a woman's right to an abortion.

The National Right to Life Committee is "extremely disappointed", said its president, Carol Tobias.

Kristen Waggoner, general counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom, said women who want abortions "have the same right to competent and quality care as patients involved in other surgical procedures".

Pro-life leaders maintain not only that am abortionist's lack of admitting privileges actively harms women, but that the Louisiana case differs from Texas.

An anti-abortion activist reads to others the US Supreme Court's decision on a Louisiana law restricting abortion in Washington DC
Supreme Court strikes down Louisiana abortion law restricting providers

"States have legitimate interests in regulating any medical procedure - including abortions - to protect patient safety", Ms McEnany said.

The ruling offered the latest setback to many evangelical Christians and conservatives who have sought the addition of originalist or strict constructionist justices to the Supreme Court.

As the Supreme Court hands his administration successive defeats at the same time his political standing craters, President Donald Trump has begun to raise both publicly and privately the potential boon another nomination to the panel this year might provide. Roberts did not sign onto the court's decision by a four-person plurality, but he cast the deciding vote by filing an opinion that concurred in its judgment.

"I joined the dissent in Whole Woman's Health and continue to believe that the case was wrongly decided". The Court agreed to hear the case in October. He made it clear, in his separate opinion, that he never supported the decision in the original Texas case, but that "the Louisiana law imposes a burden on access to abortion just as severe as that imposed by the Texas law, for the same reasons".

Roberts is no champion of abortion rights, but he is a stickler for precedent and he noted that Louisiana's law could not stand given the Texas decision. "And the law must consequently reach a similar conclusion", Breyer wrote.

Associate Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan joined Breyer in the opinion. Justices Neil M. Gorsuch and Brett M. Kavanaugh dissented from the majority. The case could also fire up the President's supporters ahead of November's Presidential election.

He also argued that overruling precedent should be considered when a case is an "outlier".

Louisiana officials, though, said it differed from the Texas law in its effect, reasoning in Texas about half of the state's abortion providers would close due to the restriction, leaving a drastic distance between various clinics for women in the large state.


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