The Supreme Court of the United States ruled today on a Texas law that was passed in 2013. You can follow the previous link to read the entire piece of legislation, but the court ruling today mainly dealt with admitting privileges of abortion doctors and the hospital-like standards that these facilities should be required to meet.
Abortion activists attacked this law as intrusive and overreaching. This is ironic as the very service, abortion, which they promote, is also intrusive and overreaching, but I digress.
These same activists, in almost every case, call for government intervention in the environment, in our homes, in our cars, in our churches, and in our bathrooms. Yet, we shouldn’t dare seek for government regulation in the womb or in the abortion clinic.
This ruling today is one of the most influential rulings on abortion in quite some time. This TX law was setting the stage for future states to go down this same path. This law was designed to finally achieve the regulation of abortions, and the clinics that provide them, that many deemed necessary. The ruling today will certainly act as a large hiccup for the future of abortion regulation.
I have read through the Opinion of the Court and the Dissent. I am always interested to see how the Court came to its conclusion. The Opinion, written by Justice Bryer, details this ruling with great care, but without care. Let me explain.
The five Justices that ruled against TX in this case have gone against the argument of the day from many that claim to be progressive and pro-choice. Their default argument is always, “If it can save one life…” This is what we hear concerning gun-control, climate change, public transportation, and any other regulation. We are always lectured on the same point…but if it can save one life, then we should do it.
Why not use that argument here? They don’t use that here because it hurts their narrative. Justice Bryer, in this ruling today, pontificated as she cited the District Court’s ruling, “The great weight of evidence demonstrates that, before the act’s passage, abortion in Texas was extremely safe with particularly low rates of serious complications and virtually no deaths occurring on account of the procedure.”
The Court ruled based on the argument of, “Thus, there was no significant health-related problem that the new law helped to cure.” This is in direct opposition to the progressive stance mentioned earlier. “Virtually no deaths” does not translate to no deaths. “Particularly low rates of serious complications” does not translate to no serious complications.
Yet, this is their stance. The fight here is not about safety or women’s health. The fight against this TX law is based on convenience. Abortion should be convenient and readily available. We shouldn’t get lost in the minutia of the safety debate. The point here is a clear one. Abortion on demand for any reason is the desired outcome. Standards and regulations will only get in the way of the profits that can be made by these abortion clinics and their doctors.
I could go on about this ruling, but I will let Justice Thomas do that below.
One may read this and find themselves hopeless. I was almost there until I read the dissenting argument from the Justices that disagreed with the Court’s ruling today. This gave me hope.
Justice Thomas wrote his own opinion and articulated his stance well. He argued against the ability that the Court has allowed for third parties to bring cases on the bases of another’s Constitutional right. Justice Thomas put it this way, “This suit is possible only because the Court has allowed abortion clinics and physicians to invoke a putative constitutional right that does not belong to them—a woman’s right to abortion.” Here they are assuming the constitutional right for another.
The Court, in the past, has not made this a habit, but Justice Thomas points out that this trend continues when a particular case or topic is brought before the courts. That particular topic is abortion.
Justice Thomas does an amazing job at pointing out the fallacy that is this ruling. The case hinged on hypotheticals. If this law is allowed, then these people will be faced with obstacles or an “undue burden” to obtain abortion. The “people” described here are not real witnesses. They are, again, hypotheticals. This is Justice Thomas’ main point. The Court is allowing for third parties, abortion clinics and doctors, to argue for the right of another even if that “other” is a simple, hypothetical person that may or may not face obstruction in seeking an abortion.
Justice Thomas ends his dissent with an amazing observation of the last 80 years, “Eighty years on, the Court has come full circle. The Court has simultaneously transformed judicially created rights like the right to abortion into preferred constitutional rights, while disfavoring many of the rights actually enumerated in the Constitution. But our Constitution renounces the notion that some constitutional rights are more equal than others. A plaintiff either possesses the constitutional right he is asserting, or not—and if not, the judiciary has no business creating ad hoc exceptions so that others can assert rights that seem especially important to vindicate. A law either infringes a constitutional right, or not; there is no room for the judiciary to invent tolerable degrees of encroachment. Unless the Court abides by one set of rules to adjudicate constitutional rights, it will continue reducing constitutional law to policy-driven value judgments until the last shreds of its legitimacy disappear.”
I could continue with Justice Thomas’ dissent, but will refrain from doing so. It is clear that Justice Thomas is frustrated with the Court’s tiered value of our rights. His claim is one that highlights personal bias over constitutional decisions.
This ruling from the Court is frustrating, but we must not lose hope. I am disheartened to hear this news today and to see the complete disdain for life of women and babies, but our day is not over. We could spend our time moping and embracing defeat, or we can continue to get up and seek to impact the lives around us.
At HOPE we choose the latter. We will continue to serve this community and be here for those men and women in crisis. We will continue to offer all of our services at no charge to our patients. We will continue to see our patients as actual people and not line-items in our budget. We will do this because we love our neighbor and seek to show them they are valued.
This work will be scoffed at and mocked by some, but we can lay our heads down at night knowing that lives were impacted and oftentimes saved because they found their way to HOPE.
I would continue writing, but we have 17 baby showers to get ready for this week!! Are any abortion clinics doing that?
Thanks for standing with us!!
posted by Andrew Wood, Executive Director of Hope Resource Center