Published On: Fri, Dec 2nd, 2016

Pro-abortion groups, Planned Parenthood, ACLU fight Alaska, Missouri, North Carolina

Three pro-abortion groups are joining together to challenge state restrictions on late-term abortions. Regulations in Alaska, Missouri, and North Carolina, counting on the Supreme Court’s decision in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, are now under attack by Planned Parenthood, the American Civil Liberties Union, and the Center for Reproductive Rights.

In a press call on Wednesday, Julie Rikelman, the Center for Reproductive Rights’ litigation director, called the litigation a “natural next step” after the Whole Woman’s Health decision. The critics take issue with rules regarding emergency care and fetus age limitations, saying women are forced to travel long distances, often across state lines, to get constitutionally protected reproductive health care.

photo/ OpenClipartVectors via pixabay

Rikelman said, they are “going on the offensive” to defend abortion access, referring to the pro-life stances of Trump’s cabinet.

Justice Stephen Breyer’s opinion in Whole Woman’s Health specifically rejected the premises for abortion restrictions, noting that Texas had “no significant health-related problem for [the restrictions] to cure,” since abortions are remarkably safe and the rare complication usually doesn’t arise until after the patient has gone home. Forcing women to travel long distances to precious few (and thus overburdened) facilities “would be harmful to, not supportive of, women’s health,” he wrote.
In Alaska, a suit filed in state court is challenging longstanding regulations that effectively ban outpatient abortion procedures after the first trimester, requiring that second-trimester abortions be performed in hospitals.
The laws on the books require an abortion provider to have an available blood supply and be staffed for major surgery, neither of which is necessary for any abortion procedure.

The Missouri regulations that Planned Parenthood is seeking to overturn in federal court are nearly identical to the Texas restrictions the Supreme Court axed in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt: laws that require abortion providers to gain admitting privileges at nearby hospitals to meet the exacting standards of a surgical center.

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About the Author

- Catherine "Kaye" Wonderhouse, a proud descendant of the Wunderhaus family is the Colorado Correspondent who will add more coverage, interviews and reports from this midwest area.

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