Some states have imposed regulations on abortion clinics–such as requiring abortionists to have admitting privileges at local hospitals and making the clinics meet the standards for outpatient surgery–that have been shutting them down, grisly hell-holes that they are. But now the Supreme Court has overturned those health and safety regulations, ruling, 5-3, that they amount to an unconstitutional barrier to a woman’s right to an abortion.
From Big ruling for abortion rights in Supreme Court’s Texas case (AP):
The Supreme Court issued its strongest defense of abortion rights in a quarter-century Monday, striking down Texas’ widely replicated rules that sharply reduced abortion clinics in the nation’s second-most-populous state.
By a 5-3 vote, the justices rejected the state’s arguments that its 2013 law and follow-up regulations were needed to protect women’s health. The rules required doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals and forced clinics to meet hospital-like standards for outpatient surgery.
The clinics that challenged the law argued that it was merely a veiled attempt to make it harder for women to get abortions by forcing the closure of more than half the roughly 40 clinics that operated before the law took effect.
Justice Stephen Breyer’s majority opinion for the court held that the regulations are medically unnecessary and unconstitutionally limit women’s right to abortions.
Breyer wrote that “the surgical-center requirement, like the admitting privileges requirement, provides few, if any, health benefits for women, poses a substantial obstacle to women seeking abortions and constitutes an ‘undue burden’ on their constitutional right to do so.”
Thirteen states have similar requirements, enacted as part of a wave of abortion restrictions that states have imposed in recent years. Others include limits on when in a pregnancy abortions may be performed and the use of drugs that induce abortions without surgical intervention.
LCMS president Matthew Harrison has issued a very strong statement on the ruling:
The United States Supreme Court ruled today that 58 million aborted babies is not enough. Our national sin of abortion now dwarfs the atrocities of the genocide of 6 million Jews by the Nazis, and the extermination of 20 million Christians by the Soviet Union. I can find no other words to describe this disgrace than those of Hermann Sasse directed at the Nazi regime:
“The lie is the death of man, his temporal and his eternal death. The lie kills nations. Through their lies, the most powerful empires of the world were laid waste. History knows of no more unsettling spectacle than the judgment which comes to pass when the men of an advanced culture have rejected the truth, and are now swallowed up in a sea of lies. As was the case with fading pagan antiquity, where this happened, religion and law, poetry and philosophy, life in marriage and family, in the state and society, in short, one sphere of life after another, fell sacrifice to the power and curse of the lie. Where man can no longer bear the truth, he cannot live without the lie. Where man, even when dying, lies to himself and others, the terrible dissolution of his culture is held up as a glorious ascent, and decline is viewed as an advance, the like of which has never been experienced. “Union and Confession, 1936.
O Lord Jesus, author and source of life, cast us not away because of our sins. Change the minds and hearts of the people of this nation, waning under moral ambiguity. Uphold your Church wherever it stands for life. Give us repentance where Christians have failed to speak and act and vote for life. Help us to continue to care for the least, the last, the needy, the downtrodden, and especially those who have succumbed to the lie. We plead it for your sake. Amen.