CNA Staff, Jul 2, 2020 / 13:00 pm
After striking down Louisiana’s unsafe abortion law this week, the Supreme Court on Thursday instructed federal courts to reconsider two Indiana abortion laws in light of that ruling. The court also sent a case concerning Catholic schools in Wisconsin back to the lower court.
Indiana laws requiring parental consent for minors seeking abortions, as well as for mothers seeking abortions to receive an ultrasound, were struck down or halted from going into effect by the federal courts. The Supreme Court on Thursday vacated those rulings and instructed them to be considered again in light of its Monday decision in June Medical Services, L.L.C. v. Russo.
One pro-life leader commended the instruction to reconsider the cases. “We are confident that the Seventh Circuit will allow these compassionate, life-saving laws to stand upon further review,” said Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List.
In the Monday decision, the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 against Louisiana’s requirement that abortion facilities have the same admitting-privileges standards as other surgical centers. Under the law, abortionists were required to have admitting privileges at a local hospital.
An abortion regulation, the court said, must promote “women’s health and safety” and cannot put “a substantial obstacle in the path of women seeking an abortion.” Louisiana’s law did not meet this standard, the court said.
After failing at the federal circuit court level, Indiana had appealed its ultrasound and parental consent laws to the Supreme Court, asking the court to consider the laws as well as the legal ability of abortion clinics to file lawsuits claiming injuries to women from state abortion laws, known as “third-party standing.” Lower courts will now have to reconsider the case.
In several other cases, the Supreme Court on Thursday refused to hear appeals, including that of a lawsuit against a “buffer zone” enacted by the city of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania outside of abortion facilities.
Two pro-life sidewalk counselors, Colleen Reilly and Becky Biter, had challenged the city’s law in court that had established a 20-foot barrier outside health clinics, including abortion facilities.