Supreme Court of the U.S. Rules Against Abortion Business Regulations

The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) struck down a Texas law (H.B.2) that sought to protect women’s health by requiring abortion clinics follow minimum standards for ambulatory surgical centers and that abortionists have surgical privileges at a hospital within 30 minutes of the abortion clinic. In a 5-3 decision, SCOTUS decided in Whole Woman’s Health V. Hellerstedt that the Texas law posed “[u]nnecessary health regulations that have the pur­pose or effect of presenting a substantial obstacle to a woman seeking an abortion impose an undue burden on the right”. The case was filed by an abortion business operating in Texas. In his dissenting opinion, Justice Alito, with Chief Justice Roberts concurring, expressed disbelief that the five justices opposed sections of H.B. 2 that imposed reasonable safety measures on abortion sites. Justice Alito wrote, “Provisions that are indisputably constitutional–for example, provisions that require facilities performing abortions to follow basic fire safety measures–are stricken from the books. There is no possible justification for this collateral damage. The Court’s patent refusal to apply well-established law in a neutral way is indefensible and will undermine public confidence in the Court as a fair and neutral arbiter.” Justice Thomas in a separate dissent quoted the late Justice Scalia on the pro-abortion leaning of the Court, “Today the Court strikes down two state statutory provi­sions in all of their applications, at the behest of abortion clinics and doctors. That decision exemplifies the Court’s troubling tendency “to bend the rules when any effort to limit abortion, or even to speak in opposition to abortion, is at issue.” Stenberg v. Carhart, 530 U. S. 914,...

Pro-Abortion Media Tout Debatable Abortion Safety Numbers (Commentary)

We often hear from abortion advocates that abortion is safe. They’re talking about how it’s safe for women, of course, since an abortion always causes the death of at least one human being. Recently, at least two media outlets have touted abortion’s safety. On June 30, Dr. Dan Grossman (VP of a ‘reproductive health’ organization) opined on the Supreme Court’s stay on the Texas omnibus pro-life bill, HB 2. His cheeky title asks, “How Do You Make a Safe Abortion Any Safer?” In his piece, Dr. Grossman discusses the abortion deaths in Texas, and his work at the pro-abortion Texas Policy Evaluation Project (TxPEP). He does admit that second-trimester abortions carry more risks, but also claims that HB2 and the closure of abortion businesses will lead to an increase in such abortions. The most questionable part of the piece, though, is that Grossman would repeat the oft-mentioned, but nevertheless false, claim that abortion is much safer than childbirth: “All of this evidence points in the same direction: Abortion as currently practiced in the United States is very safe—and certainly safer than continuing the pregnancy to term. An analysis of national data found that the risk of death associated with childbirth was 14 times higher than the risk associated with abortion.” That study was notably criticized for failing to look at long-term effects. It also relied on information from the CDC, even though the data may not be complete as states are not required to report their abortion statistics. [Ed. Most states also do not indicate on the death certificate if the death was abortion-related. It is also important to...