Category Archives: The Courts

Judge to woman guilty of feticide: You could have aborted legally

purvi-patelby Kelli

You Ms. Patel, are an educated woman of considerable means.

If you wished to terminate your pregnancy safely and legally, you could have done so.

You planned a course of action and took matters into your own hands.

~ Judge Elizabeth Hurley of Indiana, upon sentencing Purvi Patel to 20 years for neglect and six years for feticide in the death of her child, as quoted by the Daily Mail, April 1

The article further notes that the judge “condemned her for treating the baby ‘literally as a piece of trash.'”

Chief Deputy Prosecutor Mark Roule added, “His only chance at survival was his mother. In this case, the mother did nothing, left him on the floor to die and threw him in the trash.”

[Photo via deccanchronicle.com]

A Supreme Court victory for pregnant women

young-ups-hearing

by Carder

In 2014, your AUL team learned about Peggy Young, a pregnant mother who was a driver for UPS. Though other workers received a “lighter duty” accommodation for conditions like sprained ankles, Peggy was denied an accommodation during her pregnancy.

We knew how important it was for us to get behind Peggy – and the women she represents, to ensure that pregnant women are protected from discrimination in the workplace.

You see, if businesses are allowed to penalize – or even fire mothers for being pregnant, the risk of mothers choosing abortion increases.

~ Jeanneane Maxon describing their recent Supreme Court victory in Young v. United Parcel Service, Americans United for Life, March 25

Texas’s border-crossing abortion coyotes

SINTESIS-MEXICO- MEXICO-US BORDERIn the span of two years, the number of abortion clinics in Texas has dropped from 44 to 17, with the possibility of another drop to seven, pending a 5th Circuit panel’s decision on whether the state can impose clinic regulations on abortion clinics and force abortionists to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals.

At issue is whether trying to make abortion clinics and abortionists follow the same health and safety guidelines as legitimate healthcare facilities and doctors places an “undue burden” on women seeking an abortions.

“Undue burden”… that elusive and undefined term thrown into the judicial abortion morass by Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor in the 1992 Planned Parenthood v Casey decision.

Left to decide for themselves, liberal judges have pounced upon the term to overturn all kinds of pro-life laws, while strict constructionist judges have ruled oppositely. As Politico recently reported, the resulting “patchwork of contradictory rulings” may finally force the Supremes to tighten their verbiage – or nix it.

Meanwhile, even with only seven abortion clinics, 83% of Texas women, or five of six, would still live within 150 miles of a Texas abortion clinic. Does that place an undue burden?

State borders became an issue in Mississippi last year, when a different 5th Circuit panel ruled that shutting down the state’s last abortion clinic, whether or not there were clinics nearby in neighboring states, would place an “undue burden” on women.

Hence, abortion proponents are pushing a story line that procuring an abortion at an out-of-state clinic, which may, in fact, be closer for a woman than an in-state clinic, is fraught with intrigue and difficulty.

So, some abortion zealots have begun to take on the role of abortion coyotes, as the Feminist Majority Blog dramatically reported…

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“Coyote” is the term for people who smuggle illegals across the Mexican border into the U.S. And they now have abortion counterparts. Reported FMB:

Texas abortion clinics have been under attack in recent years, significantly reducing women’s access to comprehensive reproductive health care…. As a result, abortion rights advocates are increasingly helping women seeking an abortion travel from Texas to neighboring New Mexico….

Whole Woman’s Health successfully opened a clinic in Las Cruces, New Mexico last fall, just 50 miles away from El Paso, Texas.  “Going into Las Cruces felt like a really smart thing to do on behalf of the women of west Texas and south Texas so that they could have an option no matter what,” [clinic owner Amy] Hagstrom Miller continued.

Abortion coyotes would have us believe that getting a woman 50 miles from El Paso to Las Cruces is laden with more hardship and expense than taking them 1,100 miles to San Antonio.

If crossing state borders for abortions is so awful, you’d think abortion proponents would support the federal Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act, which would ban nonparental adults from trafficking minors across state lines for abortion without parental authorization.

But no. And no.

BREAKING: Judge who served on Planned Parenthood board recuses himself from lawsuit

breakingA federal judge who served as president of Planned Parenthood Association of Cincinnati has recused himself from a lawsuit filed by Planned Parenthood of Southwest Ohio against the state.

According to Cincinnati.com, today:

“Sometimes, the perception is as important as the reality,” U.S. District Judge Timothy Black said in a statement. “Although lawyers and judges recognize that an association of more than 25 years ago does not create a conflict of interest, citizens are likely to view that question more viscerally.”

He will be replaced by U.S. District Judge Michael R. Barrett, attorneys for both sides in the case said Saturday.

Planned Parenthood earlier this week sued to challenge an Ohio law that could lead to the closure of its Cincinnati clinic, the last remaining site in the area that performs abortions. The new law, passed last year, requires abortion clinics to create a patient-transffer agreement with a private hospital to stay open. Planned Parenthood’s Elizabeth Campbell Surgical Center in Mount Auburn previously partnered with UC Health, but could not find a private partner. That led the Ohio Department of Health to move to revoke its license and close the clinic.

The center’s closure would make the 2.1-million-person Cincinnati region the largest metro area in the U.S. without an abortion clinic, according to an Enquirer analysis.

That led to this week’s federal suit lawsuit, with Planned Parenthood asking that the law be struck down. The clinic also asked Black to issue a temporary restraining order keeping the health department from shutting it down until he rules on the full case.

Also read my previous post on this story.

BREAKING: Opponents of TN Amendment 1 file lawsuit to have vote invalidated

breakingUPDATE, 4:55p: Tennessee Right to Life is saying that Amendment 1 still has enough votes, even if this far-fetched lawsuit goes anywhere.

9:37a: This is insane logic, but who knows if it will work, what with the crazy liberal judges out there. From the Associated Press, last night:

Opponents of Amendment 1 are asking a federal judge to void the vote that amended the Tennessee Constitution to make it easier for lawmakers to restrict abortions.

In a lawsuit filed late Friday in federal court, plaintiffs claim that the state ignored the plain language of the constitution, which says it can be amended by “a majority of all the citizens in the state voting for governor, voting in … favor” of the amendment.

The plaintiffs want the judge to order the state to count only those Amendment 1 votes where the voters also cast ballots for governor. If that is impossible, they want the vote voided.

Plaintiffs say the state allowed some voters to game the system by voting for the amendment and skipping the governor’s race.

Your thoughts?

[HT: Susie]

Kristan Hawkins: “There is no right to an unsafe abortion”

Kristan_Hawkins_Executive_Director_of_Students_for_Life_of_America_CNA_US_Catholic_News_3_13_12by Kelli

Where are the women’s rights groups, like Planned Parenthood, that supposedly should be outraged that women have to go to subpar abortion facilities for care? Abortion advocates claim to want abortion to be “safe, legal and rare.” If they want it to be safe, why would they oppose a common sense regulation that seeks to protect women from dangerous doctors like Kermit Gosnell?…

The Kermit Gosnell trial was a grim reminder of what happens when political correctness trumps common sense health safety standards for women. There is no right to an unsafe abortion and for abortion advocates to promote a lower standard of care for women just to ensure the sacred cow of abortion remains intact, is morally indefensible.

The fight in Texas is not over yet and there are still many more hurdles to overcome to ensure that the abortion industry adheres to the same standards as any other outpatient facility, but, in the meantime, supposed women’s rights groups and abortion advocates should not get a free pass to cheer the Supreme Court ruling while calling common sense regulations “burdensome” for abortion facilities all in the name of “access.”

~ Students for Life of America president Kristan Hawkins (pictured), The Blaze, October 20

What 6-3 Supreme Court ruling on Texas abortion law means

Supreme Court votes 6-3 to block texas abortion clinic regulationsAs most know by now, the U.S. SUPREME COURT ruled by a lopsided 6-3 majority on October 14 that Texas could not enforce that part of its 2013 omnibus pro-life law requiring abortion clinics to meet the same standards as other ambulatory surgical centers, this while the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals makes its decision on the case.

SCOTUS also blocked Texas from forcing abortionists at clinics in McAllen and El Paso to have admitting privileges within 30 miles of their clinics, also pending the 5th Circuit’s final decision. All other Texas abortionists must meet this requirement.

Otherwise, other prongs of the far-reaching statute are being enforced, and the contended issues are still in play. Most pro-lifers did not expect Chief Justice Roberts to side with the liberals, and many were surprised to see Justice Kennedy do the same.

Before I get to analysis of the votes, I’d like to untangle the chain of events, which has involved two lawsuits and many, many court decisions.

Passage of bill: June 18, 2013

Wendy Davis filibuster HB2 anti-abortion billHB 2 was signed into law three weeks after state Senator Wendy Davis’s (pictured right) infamous filibuster trying to block it. It includes:

  1. a ban on abortion at 20 weeks post-fertilization, at which point it is known preborn babies feel pain
  2. a requirement that abortionists have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the clinic
  3. a requirement that the RU-486 chemical abortion regimen follow protocol approved by either the FDA or American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
  4. a requirement that abortion clinics meet the same standards as other ambulatory surgical centers

Planned Parenthood v Abbott: Sept-Oct 2013

On September 27, 2013, Planned Parenthood filed a lawsuit to block two of the first three parts of HB 2 before they were scheduled to take effect on October 29, 2013: the admitting privileges and RU-486 requirements.

I’m going to skip the details and get to the bottom line, which is that as of today Planned Parenthood has failed.

The only recourse Planned Parenthood now has is to ask SCOTUS to reverse the decision of the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, and I explained on October 7 why it would be risky for the abortion industry to ask SCOTUS to hear a case on RU-486.

The ball is in Planned Parenthood’s court, while meanwhile the RU-486 requirement is currently in effect as well as the admitting privileges requirement for all abortion clinics save two, as described below.

Whole Woman’s Health v Lakey: Apr 2014-present

On April 3, 2014, five independent abortion clinics sued to block the fourth component of HB2 from taking effect on September 1, 2014: the ASC requirement. They also sued to block the admitting privileges requirement at two outlying facilities in McAllen and El Paso. abbott-greg_jpg_800x1000_q100

After a lower court judge intervened on behalf of the abortion industry, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott (pictured left) asked the 5th Circuit to let the newly questioned parts of HB2 take effect while the state appealed.

On October 2, a 5th Circuit of three judges agreed to Abbott’s request.

On October 3, 13 of the remaining 21 abortion clinics in Texas closed.

The clinics filed an emergency appeal with the Supreme Court to block enforcement while they appealed to the full 5th Circuit.

On October 14, the Supreme Court agreed in a 6-3 decision.

All this means is clinics not up to ASC standards can remain open while their case is appealed, and abortionists in McAllen and El Paso can continue to abort without admitting privileges during the appeal process.

So here are the parts of HB2 in effect and not in effect at present. All parts of the law in italics or struck are in limbo. All other parts of the law are being enforced:

  1. a ban on abortion at 20 weeks post-fertilization, at which point it is known preborn babies feel pain
  2. a requirement that abortionists must have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the clinic – except in McAllen and El Paso
  3. a requirement that the RU-486 chemical abortion regimen follow protocol approved by either the FDA or ACOG
  4. a requirement that abortion clinics meet the same standards as other ambulatory surgical centers

 What does the 6-3 Supreme Court split mean? 

Reading tea leaves on Supreme Court decision on TX anti-abortion lawThere are two schools of thought when trying to read the tea leaves for the day this case may return to the Supreme Court.

The following opinion is being heard quite a bit among DC pro-lifers who study and work with the Supreme Court:

There is confidence SCOTUS will hear either this case soon or a case regarding regulation of RU-486.

Again, the 6-3 ruling did not overturn the parts of the Texas law in question. It simply prevented them from taking effect while the 5th Circuit debates the constitutionality of the law.

Kennedy, being the swing vote, likely did not want to prejudice himself by tipping his hand, thinking he is going to hear this case.

Kennedy joining with the liberals made the tally 5-3.

Since the decision was already 5-3, there was nothing for Roberts to gain by making it 5-4. Roberts is probably playing politics and wanting to keep dialogue open with the liberals by siding with them.

The other school of thought is more cynical. Fr. Ben Johnson of LifeSiteNews.com expresses it well in an email statement: john-roberts-smile-ap

Justice Roberts (pictured left) has cast some praiseworthy votes on issues affecting the pro-life movement. However, his vote suspending enforcement of HB2 allows subpar abortion facilities to go back into the business of preying on women and killing unborn children – and it makes Roberts partially responsible for their actions until the law is upheld.

Roberts is the author of an incomprehensible ruling upholding Obamacare, a facially unconstitutional bill that some believe represents the greatest expansion of abortion funding in U.S. history. And he has left conservative justices twisting as he voted against them on procedural issues.

I would like to believe when the final vote on HB2 comes that Justice Roberts will be inclined to follow the better angels of his nature and uphold the inherent dignity of life at every stage of development.

However, I could see the liberal bloc convincing him to ignore the underlying issues and rule on the law’s effect, as he did in McCullen v. Coakley. Although a win, that ruling simply said the anti-free speech zone around Massachusetts abortion facilities was too large.

The court’s liberals would be content to have a similar decision on HB2  – that eliminating abortion facilities for hundreds of miles places an “undue burden” on women’s “right” to an abortion under Planned Parenthood v. Casey – in the process upholding bad precedent. I hope everyone will pray for Justice Roberts’ impending decision.

One final thought. Notice the abortion industry has not yet touched the 20-week ban in a lawsuit. There isn’t any other explanation than it expects the 5th Circuit would uphold the ban, creating a circuit court split with the 9th Circuit, which struck down Arizona’s 20-week ban in 2013. In the event of a circuit split, SCOTUS would be likely to hear the merits of the case, which the industry likely fears. How do you think a Supreme Court vote would go?

[Many thanks to Mailee Smith of Americans United for Life with her help on this post!]

The “undue burden” of a regulated abortion clinic

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~ RH Reality Check’s Andrea Grimes, itemizing the “undue burden” placed on pregnant mothers who have to travel further to get an abortion at a regulated abortion clinic in Texas, as opposed to a closer unregulated clinic.

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of these regulations on October 2, effectively shuttering 13 unstandardized abortion clinics around the state.