The Continuing Carnage of Planned Parenthood v Casey

Although Roe v Wade is the Supreme Court’s original sin, it is Planned Parenthood v. Casey (with a plurality opinion written by 3 spineless Republican appointees) that continues to be used by Courts to continue to thwart all democratic efforts to protect the unborn. Yesterday, the Ninth Circus, er, Circuit, blocked, at least temporarily, an Arizona law that would have prevented abortions of children after 20 weeks of pregnancy, and even then with exceptions for medical emergencies. The problem with the law is that it might infringe on the limits set in Planned Parenthood v. Casey, which forbids any “burden”on the Roe abortion right before viability (not every baby is viable at 20 weeks). Or at least that’s the position of the ACLU, which remains a steadfast defender of the civil liberties of every person lucky enough to make it out of the womb alive. Back in April, the Oklahoma Supreme Court denied the state’s voters an opportunity to vote on a proposed ballot initiative (Question 761) that would change the state constitution to re-define “person” as “any human being from the beginning of the biological development of that human being to natural death.” The problem, of course, is that the measure would mean that fetuses have a right to life under the Due Process Clause, and that would contradict (drumroll, please) Planned Parenthood v. Casey. Supporters of the Oklahoma law recently petitioned the Supreme Court for review (the petition is here). And I assume that supporters of the Arizona law will eventually need to seek Supreme Court relief from the Ninth Circuit’s final ruling. Here’s hoping that the Court accepts one or both cases, and that the Justices have the fortitude (are you listening, Mr. Chief Justice?) to revisit the wretched precedent of Casey.

2 responses

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