By Dave Andrusko
In light of Monday’s decision overturning portions of Texas pro-life law, it came as no surprise today that the United States Supreme Court, in an unsigned opinion, let stand lower court rulings that blocked laws in Wisconsin and Mississippi that require abortionists to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital.
Wisconsin’s Act 37 was signed into law by Governor Scott Walker and was immediately challenged by Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin (PPWI), Affiliated Medical Services (AMS), and various other parties.
In March 2015, U.S. District Judge William Conley replaced his temporary injunction with a permanently injunction. He wrote, “The only reasonable conclusion is that the legislation was motivated by an improper purpose, namely to restrict the availability of abortion services in Wisconsin.”
Last November, a split three-judge panel upheld Judge Conley using even more intemperate language.
Heather Weininger, executive director of Wisconsin Right to Life, told NRL News Today, “No matter what setbacks we may receive from the Supreme Court, we remain undeterred in our efforts to protect women and unborn children from the abortion industry.”
She added, “We will continue to empower women with hope and the information they need before making the life-and-death decision of abortion. We will work to protect unborn children from dismemberment abortion where they are torn apart, limb-from-limb. We know that the abortion industry sees women and unborn children as a means for profit, but we see them as people, worthy of our protection under the law.”
In the Mississippi case, “a federal district court judge issued a temporary injunction in 2012 blocking the law because it would have forced women seeking abortions to go out of state,” Reuters reported. “The same judge issued a second injunction in 2013, which was upheld by the New Orleans-based 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in 2014.”
The judge is Judge Myron Thompson whose August 4, 2014 , decision overturning Mississippi’s Women’s health and Safety Act (HB 57) was as expected as it was mammoth (172 pages).
Judge Thompson concluded the right to abortion is being regulated out of existence. But as we wrote at the time, it was a lot of sound and fury signifying very little.
For example, prior to the Act’s passage in 2011, nearly sixty percent of Mississippi women who obtained abortions already traveled to other states to obtain their abortions. Judge Thompson also offered strained (okay, bizarre) analogies to the right to bear arms.