The Supreme Court addressed several cases affecting the protection of vulnerable life this week:
- VICTORY! In Food and Drug Administration v. American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists, the Court reinstated FDA requirements for dispensing chemical abortions. Chemical abortions use two different off-label drugs and for over 20 years, the FDA has required the first drug to be taken in a doctor’s office. Last August, a Maryland judge blocked that requirement, ruling that because of COVID, requiring women to go to a doctor’s office for the abortion drug posed a substantial obstacle to killing one’s child. Life Legal has urged the FDA to keep the requirements in place, noting that women undergoing chemical abortions experience four times as many adverse events as women undergoing surgical abortions and need to be under the supervision of a medical doctor. Planned Parenthood has been touting chemical abortions as “safe” and “easy,” but statistics show that up to 15% of chemical abortions are incomplete and require a follow-up visit to a medical professional. Of course, chemical abortions are never safe and always fatal for the abortionist’s victims—innocent children in the womb.
- In another abortion-related case, the Court declined review in Bruni v. City of Pittsburgh, which involves a sidewalk advocate who sued the City of Pittsburg after it passed a buffer zone ordinance that prohibits free speech within 15 feet in any direction of a medical facility. Pittsburgh has only enforced the law outside the city’s two abortion clinics. Life Legal submitted a “Friend of the Court” brief with the Supreme Court, urging the Court to strike down the buffer zone law as an unconstitutional infringement on free speech. Unfortunately, the Court decided this week not to review the case, which means the buffer zone law will remain in place and the First Amendment rights of Pittsburgh pro-lifers will continue to be in jeopardy.
- VICTORY! The Court declined to take up the case of two-year old Tinslee Lewis, who was born with a serious condition that requires her to be on a ventilator. When Tinslee was 9 months old, Cook Children’s Medical Center sought to remove her ventilator. The Texas Advance Directives Act (TADA) allows hospitals to withdraw life-sustaining care after only 10 days’ notice to the patient’s family. A Texas District Court, in a lengthy (148 page) ruling, held patients and their health care decision makers “have a vested, fundamental right to decide whether to discontinue life-sustaining treatment.” The Texas court further held that “the right to life is implicated” where a hospital seeks to remove care that will cause a patient’s death. In this case—at least for now—the Supreme Court’s decision not to review the case means the pro-life Texas decision stands and Baby Tinslee gets to live! Life Legal has served as a consultant on this case.