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Abortion Takes the Stage Before the U.S. Supreme Court
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Texas abortion

Summary: The U.S. Supreme Court has taken on the issue of abortion regulations in Texas, short a conservative member of the Court.

Justice Antonin Scalia’s death is being noticed as the U.S. Supreme Court enters into the current debate over abortion. As things appear now, the Supreme Court is sharply divided on the case, the first of its kind in nearly ten years.

  
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Justice Anthony M. Kennedy suggested the case be sent back down to the lower courts to build more evidence as the three conservative justices voiced their frustration with the lack of factual records presented. The evidence that clinics would or already have closed because of the law was minimal at best. The four liberal justices were not considered and adamantly stressed that the laws restrictions hold no medical purpose and are not constitutional.

Kennedy possesses the power in this case as he is likely to be the deciding vote. Should he vote with the conservatives, a 4-to-4 tie would leave an appeals court ruling in place, cutting the number of Texas abortion clinics from 40 to 10. He wants to see more information on how the Texas law would affect the number of abortions performed in clinics that remain open should the law become fully effective.

The last abortion case to go before the Supreme Court was in 2007, Gonzales v. Carhart. This case upheld a federal Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act that prohibited a specific procedure. The 1992 Planned Parenthood v. Casey decision, which stemmed from the 1973 Roe v. Wade, stated that states were not allowed to place undue burdens on the right to an abortion before a fetus was viable.

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The current case was passed by the Texas Legislature and signed into law in July 2013 by then governor Rick Perry. The law required abortion clinics to have the same standards as “ambulatory surgical centers” and for the clinic doctors to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital.

See Rick Perry’s Criminal Charges Dropped by Texas Court to read about the former governor’s drama.



A decision by the Supreme Court is expected in late June. The Supreme Court intervened last June on the case by blocking the appeals court ruling until they weighed in. Justice Kennedy joined the liberal side in that vote.

Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/03/us/politics/supreme-court-abortion-texas.html?_r=0

Photo: feministing.com



 

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