Today’s 5-4 decision in June Medical Services v. Russo is a discouraging development in a now 47-year campaign to preserve and protect preborn life.
By a narrow majority, the Supreme Court ruled that commonsense safety precautions for abortion clinics are somehow unconstitutional. Louisiana lawmakers had passed legislation to protect women seeking abortions after it was discovered some facilities had been ignoring basic safety regulations, including one clinic hiring an ophthalmologist and a radiologist to perform abortions.
In a particularly curious and frustrating twist, Chief Justice Roberts, who sided with the Court’s liberals, said the Court is merely following the legal precedent it set in its 2016 Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt decision which struck down a Texas requirement that abortionists obtain admitting privileges at a nearby hospital – even though Roberts dissented in that case four years ago.
In other words, Chief Justice Roberts was for abortion restrictions – until he against them.
Chief Roberts’ commitment to precedent appears to be politically selective and calculating, especially since the composition of the Supreme Court was different in 2016. By Roberts’ standard of Stare Decisis supremacy, the horrific Dred Scott decision that upheld slavery would still be the law of the land.
Our quest to protect every life under law continues unabated. The Supreme Court of the United States does not dictate the heart of man. Like the long and wearisome quest to emancipate black Americans, those of us who oppose abortion will continue our campaign for the dignity and respect of all life.
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