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Supreme Court Directs Louisiana from Enforcing New Regulations on Abortion Clinics

The justices could decide this spring whether to add the case to their calendar for the term that begins in October.

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The sun flares in the camera lens as it rises behind the U.S. Supreme Court building in Washington, June 25, 2017. VOA

A divided Supreme Court stopped Louisiana from enforcing new regulations on abortion clinics in a test of the conservative court’s views on abortion rights.

The justices said by a 5-4 vote late Thursday that they will not allow the state to put into effect a law that requires abortion providers to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals.

Chief Justice John Roberts joined the court’s four liberals in putting a hold on the law, pending a full review of the case.

President Donald Trump’s two Supreme Court appointees, Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, were among the four conservative members of the court who would have allowed the law to take effect.

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If the doctors succeed, they can continue performing abortions, he said. If they fail, they could return to court, Kavanaugh said. Pixabay

Kavanaugh wrote a dissenting opinion in which he said the court’s action was premature because the state had made clear it would allow abortion providers an additional 45 days to obtain admitting privileges before it started enforcing the law.

If the doctors succeed, they can continue performing abortions, he said. If they fail, they could return to court, Kavanaugh said.

The law is very similar to a Texas measure the justices struck down three years ago. Roberts dissented in that case.

But the composition of the court has changed since then, with Kavanaugh replacing Justice Anthony Kennedy, who voted to strike down the Texas law. Trump had pledged during the campaign to appoint “pro-life” justices, and abortion opponents are hoping the more conservative bench will be more open to upholding abortion restrictions.

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A divided Supreme Court stopped Louisiana from enforcing new regulations on abortion clinics in a test of the conservative court’s views on abortion rights. Pixabay

Louisiana abortion providers and a district judge who initially heard the case said one or maybe two of the state’s three abortion clinics would have to close under the new law. There would be at most two doctors who could meet its requirements, they said.

But the federal appeals court in New Orleans rejected those claims, doubting that any clinics would have to close and saying the doctors had not tried hard enough to establish relationships with local hospitals.

In January, the full appeals court voted 9-6 not to get involved in the case, setting up the Supreme Court appeal.

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The law had been scheduled to take effect Monday, but Justice Samuel Alito delayed the effective date at least through Thursday to give the justices more time. He and Justice Clarence Thomas were the other dissenters Thursday.

The justices could decide this spring whether to add the case to their calendar for the term that begins in October.

The case is June Medical Services v. Gee. (VOA)

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Over 95% Women Feel That Abortion Was The Right Decision: Study

Over 95% women do not regret having an abortion says a new study

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According to a new study, over 95% women do not regret the decision of having an abortion. Pixabay

Researchers have found that even five years down the line after having an abortion, over 95 per cent of the women said it was the right decision for them.

Published in the journal Social Science & Medicine, the study found no evidence that women began to regret their decisions as years passed.

On the contrary, the women reported that both their positive and negative feelings about the abortion diminished over time. At five years, the overwhelming majority (84 per cent) had either positive feelings, or none at all.

“Even if they had difficulty making the decision initially, or if they felt their community would not approve, our research shows that the overwhelming majority of women who obtain abortions continue to believe it was the right decision,” said study researcher Corinne Rocca, Associate Professor at University of California in the US.

“This debunks the idea that most women suffer emotionally from having an abortion,” Rocca added.

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Most women suffer emotionally from having an abortion. Pixabay

For the findings, the researchers analysed data from the Turnaway Study, a five-year effort to understand the health and socioeconomic consequences for nearly 1,000 women who sought abortions in 21 states around the country.

The analysis included 667 participants who had abortions at the start of the study. The women were surveyed a week after they sought care and every six months thereafter, for a total of 11 times.

While women did not report regretting their decision, many did struggle initially to make it. Just over half said the decision to terminate their pregnancy was very difficult (27 per cent) or somewhat difficult (27 pe rcent), while the rest (46 percent) said it was not difficult.

About 70 per cent also reported feeling they would be stigmatised by their communities if people knew they had sought an abortion, with 29 per cent reporting low levels and 31 percent reporting high levels of community stigma. Those who struggled with their decisions or felt stigmatized were more likely to experience sadness, guilt and anger shortly after obtaining the abortion.

Over time, however, the number of women reporting these negative emotions declined dramatically, particularly in the first year after their abortion. This was also true for those who initially struggled with their decision.

And relief was the most prominent emotion reported by all groups at the end of the study — just as it was at every time point in the study.

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“This research goes further than previous studies, in that it follows women for longer, and was conducted on a larger sample from many different clinics throughout the US,” said Julia Steinberg from University of Maryland.

“It shows that women remain certain in their decision to get an abortion over time. These results clearly disprove claims that regret is likely after abortion,” Steinberg said. (IANS)