Pro-Life and Pro-Abortion Laws Considered for Review at Supreme Court

This week, the Supreme Court of the United States is scheduled to consider petitions for certiorari review in three cases of interest to pro-life advocates.

In Cline v. Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice the lower court held that requiring abortion providers who dispense the RU-486 abortion pill to adhere to Federal Food and Drug Administration protocols for use of the drug violates Supreme Court precedent in Planned Parenthood v. Casey. Thus the Court will consider whether a requirement that abortion providers adhere to minimum safety protocols in use of a dangerous drug is an unconstitutional infringement of a woman’s right to privacy.

Another case on review from Oklahoma, Pruitt v. Nova Health Systems, asks the Court to consider whether it is unconstitutional to require a pregnant woman to have an ultrasound and to have the ultrasound results explained to her before an abortion. The Oklahoma Supreme Court held that this common-sense law violated the U.S. Constitution.

Dana Cody, President of Life Legal Defense Foundation, comments on the importance of these cases: “Recent evidence shows now more than ever how many women are being hurt or killed in abortion clinics, and yet here two common-sense attempts to protect women and their unborn children have been struck down.”

First Amendment rights are up for review in, McCullen v. Coakley, a case out of the First Circuit. Seven Massachusetts residents who engaged in pro-life counseling outside of abortion clinics sued the state for violation of their right to free speech. Massachusetts has created a 35-foot buffer zone around abortion businesses, a “speech free” zone prohibiting everyone—except clinic patients or employees—from “entering or remaining” within 35 feet of the clinic entrance. As reported earlier, Life Legal Defense Foundation filed a friend of the court brief urging the Court to review the McCullen decision.

Cody points out the irony of these cases being considered simultaneously, “The abortion industry tries so hard to keep the life-affirming message from women entering their ‘clinics’ by shouting that everyone advocating for life is dangerous. They further shut out a message of hope by pushing for ‘speech free’ zones.” Cody concludes, “It is our hope that the Court will accept these cases for review and that it will ultimately reverse the constitutional confusion perpetuated by the lower courts.”

The Court’s decision granting or denying review in these cases is expected to be announced on Monday, June 24, 2013.