Thursday, December 08, 2022

Supreme Court’s abortion ruling sets off new court feuds

Tallahassee, Fla. ( Associated Press) — Roe v. The Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Wade went into courtrooms across the country on Monday as anti-abortion advocates looked to quickly implement statewide restrictions and their opponents sought to buy more time.

The High Court’s Friday decision to end constitutional protections for abortion opened the door to a wave of legal battles from all sides.

Many of the court cases will focus on “trigger laws,” which were adopted in 13 states in anticipation of the ruling and designed to take effect quickly. Lawsuits can also target old anti-abortion laws that did not apply under Roe, and abortion ban cases that have been awaited by the Supreme Court are beginning to come into play again.

“We’ll be back in court tomorrow and the next day and the next day,” said Nancy Northup, president and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights. ,

On Monday, a Florida judge is considering a request from abortion rights advocates to block a new state law that bans abortions after 15 weeks with some exceptions and is set to take effect July 1. Planned Parenthood Union of Utah has already challenged a trigger. Law with narrow exceptions. The American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona and an abortion-rights group filed an emergency motion on Saturday seeking to block a 2021 law that they worry could be used to prevent all abortions.

Brigitte Amiri, deputy director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s Reproductive Freedom Project, said the organization is looking at “all options” to protect access to abortion. As of Saturday, abortion services had closed in at least 11 states — either because of state laws or confusion over them.

In some cases, lawsuits may simply be a play for the time being. Even if courts prevent certain abortion restrictions or bans from being put in place, lawmakers in many conservative states can move quickly to clear any defects.

The enforcement of laws may be challenged on the grounds that the conditions for imposing sanctions have not been met, or that it was inappropriate for the previous legislature to bind existing legislation to new legislation. Laura Herner, a professor at the Mitchell Hamline School of Law in St. Paul, Minnesota, said trigger restrictions or sanctions can also be challenged using similar safety arguments.

He said other challenges could raise the question of whether the laws sufficiently and clearly allow exceptions to protect the life or health of a pregnant woman.

The newly written restrictions may also face challenges. Rather than relying on constitutional protection at the federal level, abortion rights advocates may be making the case that state constitutions guarantee abortion rights.

A judge is hearing arguments on the issue in Florida on Monday, where lawyers are seeking an emergency injunction to block a new law from taking effect on Friday. There are exceptions to the restriction beyond 15 weeks to save the life of the pregnant woman or to prevent bodily harm or in cases where there is a fatal abnormality in the fetus. Florida’s ACLU argues that it violates the state’s constitution.

Still other cases may be filed as states try to figure out whether abortions that were banned before Roe’s decision—sometimes called “zombie laws”—now enforce that abortion There is no federal protection for

For example, Wisconsin passed a law in 1849 that banned abortion in addition to saving the mother’s life. Democrat Attorney General Josh Kaul said he does not believe it is enforceable. Pro-Life Wisconsin and other abortion opponents have called on lawmakers to introduce a new ban.

Meanwhile, Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin said it was immediately suspending all abortions, although district attorneys in counties including Madison and Milwaukee have suggested they will not enforce the ban.

In Michigan, Planned Parenthood was active, prior to the Supreme Court ruling challenging the 1931 abortion ban. In May, a judge said the ban could not be enforced because it violates the state’s constitution. Abortion rights advocates are now trying to get a proposed state constitutional amendment on the ballot in November so that people can make their own decisions about abortion and birth control.

Advocates and experts also expect to see a court battle over the state’s efforts to pursue legal action against people crossing state borders to get abortions — or to protect people from such action. For.

Idaho, Oklahoma and Texas have adopted laws that allow people to take bounties against those who help others get abortions. There is a question over whether this means people can be chased across state lines – and some states are acting prematurely to stop this.

For example, the Democrat-controlled California Legislature passed a bill Thursday to protect abortion providers and volunteers in the state from civil judgments imposed by other states. In liberal Massachusetts, Republican Governor Charlie Baker signed an executive order Friday that bars state agencies from assisting other states in investigating anyone who receives or delivers legal reproductive health services in Massachusetts.

“It’s so confusing and there’s a lot of moving parts and patients are really going to bear the brunt. There’s going to be a lot of confusion about where people can access abortion,” said Amiri of the ACLU. ”

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