Abortion-Rights Supporters Looking To Courts For Help
Federal courts have been hesitant so far to support moves in a number of states by GOP officials to restrict abortion options. Last Friday, a judge in South Dakota said that while the state may require doctors to tell women about their legal relationship with the fetus, they do not have to tell women that an abortion increases their risk of suicide.
The New York Times: Courts Put the Brakes On Agenda Of G.O.P.
(I)n a year in which expanded Republican majorities in many states have been able to operate without the usual obstacles presented by divided government — threat of veto from a governor, split chambers or even minority opposition large enough to force compromise — these court challenges amount to the first real efforts to slow the crush of conservative legislation. Federal judges have issued injunctions temporarily blocking all or parts of laws on contentious issues including abortion restrictions (South Dakota and Texas), financing for Planned Parenthood (Indiana and North Carolina) and immigration enforcement (Alabama and Georgia) (Sulzberger, 9/5).
The Hill: Court Strikes Part Of South Dakota Abortion Law
Planned Parenthood claimed victory Friday after a federal appeals court struck down a South Dakota law requiring doctors to tell pregnant women that an abortion would increase their risk of committing suicide. The 8th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled that the requirement violates doctors' 1st Amendment rights. It would require doctors to make "untruthful and misleading" statements, the court stated (Baker, 9/2).
National Journal: Mixed Abortion Ruling In South Dakota Gives Both Sides A Win
A federal appeals court ruled Friday that South Dakota may require doctors to tell a woman seeking an abortion that she has a legal relationship with her unborn child. But the court also ruled against the state's requirement that doctors tell women that abortion raises the risk of suicide. Both sides in the abortion debate immediately claimed victory. "We are thrilled beyond words," said Leslee Unruh, founder of the Alpha Center pregnancy counseling center in Sioux Falls. "We are so happy about this ruling. It just shows the tide has turned in this country and we need to protect unborn children, as well as the woman in making that decision," (Fox, 9/2).