Published: Sun, June 30, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

SCOTUS Won’t Revive Alabama Law Banning Dismemberment Abortion

SCOTUS Won’t Revive Alabama Law Banning Dismemberment Abortion

The move took place this Friday, and the law was set to go into effect on July 1.

The Georgia bill would outlaw most abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected - usually as early as six weeks, which sometimes is before a woman knows she's pregnant. Nine other states have similar laws, though courts have blocked those everywhere except West Virginia and Mississippi.

The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday sidestepped a major new challenge to abortion rights by declining to hear Alabama's bid to revive a Republican-backed state law that would have effectively banned the procedure after 15 weeks of pregnancy.

The challenge comes as several of the laws coming out of red state legislatures restricting abortion are being taken to court, with the two organizations also challenging Alabama's near-total abortion ban.

The law is separate from a new, broader Alabama measure that would make abortion a felony in nearly all cases.

"The U.S. Supreme Court has clearly held that a woman has the freedom to make one of the most intimate decisions that she can make", ACLU of Georgia legal director Sean Young said.

State Attorney General Chris Carr said he's reviewing the ACLU complaint. The only abortion clinic in neighboring Missouri has lost its license to perform the procedure, though a judge has said the facility can continue operating through Friday. It also allows for abortions when the life of the woman is at risk or when a fetus is determined not to be viable because of a serious medical condition.

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"But Justice Thomas, who has been sending strong signals about overruling precedent throughout this term, sent another one - suggesting that in an appropriate future case, the court should revisit the entire "undue burden" framework, which, in essence, would mean revisiting whether the Constitution has anything to say about how states limit access to abortions", Vladeck, a professor at the University of Texas School of Law, added.

Justice Thomas weighs in on 'dismemberment... "For almost half a century, the Supreme Court has protected the right to abortion, and we know the majority of Americans continue to support abortion access".

The Supreme Court in 2016 buttressed constitutional protections for abortion rights in a ruling in which Kennedy joined the four liberal justices, throwing out a Texas law imposing difficult-to-meet requirements on abortion clinics and abortion doctors.

"This spring, Georgians came out in opposition to HB 481 like we've never seen before", said Staci Fox, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Southeast, after the suit was filed today in U.S. District Court in Atlanta naming Kemp and other elected state officials as defendants.

Thomas, who is on record as opposing the Supreme Court's pro-choice rulings, said the Alabama case serves as a "stark reminder" that "our abortion jurisprudence has spiraled out of control". The measure has been blocked by lower courts.

"There is no meaningful difference between death-by-dismemberment abortion in the womb and partial-birth abortion outside it", argued Marshall, a Republican.

Most recently, the court on May 28 refused to consider reinstating Indiana's ban on abortions performed because of fetal disability or the sex or race of the fetus, while upholding the state's requirement that fetal remains be buried or cremated after the procedure is done.

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