Reproductive Rights Prof Blog

Editor: Caitlin E. Borgmann
CUNY School of Law

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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Fifth Circuit Panel Rules Mississippi's Admitting Privileges Law Cannot Be Enforced Against State's Sole Remaining Clinic

SCOTUSblog: Last abortion clinic in Mississippi may be spared, by Lyle Denniston:

In a ruling that is likely to mean that the only abortion clinic still operating in Mississippi will not have to close, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ruled on Tuesday that a two-year-old state law regulating clinics cannot be enforced against that facility in the city of Jackson.  The ruling, dividing the panel two to one, is here. . . .

July 29, 2014 in In the Courts, Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers (TRAP) | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Two Federal Appeals Courts Issue Conflicting Rulings on ACA Subsidies

The Hill: ObamaCare subsidies in jeopardy, by Elise Viebeck:

A pillar of ObamaCare was put in jeopardy Tuesday as two appeals courts split on whether the law’s premium subsidies are legal in 36 states. . . .

Politico: How Obama’s court strategy may help save Obamacare, by Josh Gerstein:

Last fall, President Barack Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid deployed the “nuclear option” to help get three liberal judges onto the D.C. Circuit appeals court.

Tuesday’s ruling on Obamacare is a dramatic example of why they forced the issue.

On Tuesday, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit issued a 2-1 decision that could gut much of Obamacare by preventing the federal government from offering subsidies to many Americans. The two judges in the majority were appointed by Republican presidents.

But the full court now has seven judges appointed by Democrats and four by Republicans. It took only an hour or so for the administration to announce that it plans to ask the entire bench to review the decision. . . .

____________________________________

The D.C. Circuit's decision is available here.  The Fourth Circuit's decision is  here.

July 22, 2014 in In the Courts, President/Executive Branch | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Obama Administration To Revise Accommodation for Certain Religious Non-Profits That Object to Contraception Rule

The Wall Street Journal: Obama Administration to Revise Part of Contraception Rule, by Louise Radnofsky:

Wheaton College Objected to Allowing Contraceptive Coverage to Be Provided by an Insurance Company

The Obama administration said Tuesday it will revise a compromise arrangement for religiously affiliated universities and charities that object to providing contraception in workers' health insurance plans, in response to a Supreme Court order earlier this month.

A majority of Supreme Court justices granted Wheaton College, an Illinois Christian school, a temporary reprieve from contraception coverage requirements in the Affordable Care Act on July 3. That was days after the high court ruled that closely held for-profit companies such as arts-and-crafts chain Hobby Lobby should be allowed to opt out of the provision if their owners have religious objections to certain forms of birth control. . . .

July 22, 2014 in Contraception, In the Courts, President/Executive Branch, Religion and Reproductive Rights | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, July 18, 2014

Idaho Asks Ninth Circuit To Reverse Ruling Invalidating 20-Week Abortion Ban

The Oregonian/AP: Idaho defends fetal-pain abortion law in federal court:

A federal judge's ruling striking down Idaho's law banning abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy should be reversed because criminal charges against the eastern Idaho woman who filed the initial lawsuit had been dismissed, Idaho attorneys said. . . .

July 18, 2014 in Abortion Bans, In the Courts | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, June 23, 2014

U.S. Supreme Court Declines To Review Preliminary Injunction of Wisconsin Admitting Privileges Law

The Huffington Post/Reuters: U.S. Supreme Court Rejects Wisconsin Abortion Case, by Lawrence Hurley:

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to intervene in the legal fight over a new Wisconsin law that requires any doctor performing an abortion to have privileges to admit patients to a nearby hospital.

The justices turned away the state's appeal of a December 2013 ruling by the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that upheld a federal judge's decision to block the law temporarily. . . .

June 23, 2014 in In the Courts, Supreme Court, Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers (TRAP) | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Texas Abortion Doctors Get Admitting Privileges Reinstated

The Texas Tribune: 2 Abortion Doctors Settle Suit Over Revoked Privileges, by Becca Aaronson & Alexa Ura:

Two Texas abortion doctors who filed a lawsuit against a Dallas hospital after losing their admitting privileges have settled their case with the hospital, which will reinstate their privileges. . . .

In April, Lamar Robinson, owner of Abortion Advantage, and Jasbir Ahluwalia, the medical director of Routh Street Women’s Clinic, said they received letters from University General Hospital in Dallas revoking their admitting privileges at the hospital after anti-abortion protesters targeted the hospital. . . .

With their admitting privileges to the hospital in place, the two doctors will be able to continue providing abortion services at clinics within 30 miles of the hospital in compliance with new abortion regulations passed last summer by the Republican-led Texas Legislature. . . .

June 17, 2014 in In the Courts, Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers (TRAP) | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Federal Trial on Alabama TRAP Law Ends

WSFA.com:  Abortion law trial ends, ruling to come next month, by Max Reiss:

Attorneys for three abortion clinics in Alabama and the state of Alabama wrapped up their arguments in a federal trial challenging one of the state's abortion laws Monday.

Judge Myron Thompson told attorneys that they could expect his ruling on the Women's Health and Safety Act of 2013 by the end of July. . . .

June 11, 2014 in In the Courts, Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers (TRAP) | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, June 9, 2014

Wisconsin Department of Justice to Pay Anti-Choice Advocate Thousands for Work as "Expert Consultant" in Trial over Admitting-Privileges Law

The Daily Page: Pro-life advocate Vincent Rue assists state in Wisconsin abortion law defense, by Judith Davidoff:

State Department of Justice lawyers were in court last week defending a 2013 Wisconsin law that requires abortion providers to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of their clinic. During the four-day bench trial before U.S. Circuit Judge William Conley, one name came up during the cross-examination of each expert witness for the state: Vincent Rue. . . .

June 9, 2014 in Anti-Choice Movement, In the Courts, Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers (TRAP) | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Federal Trial on Alabama TRAP Law Opens Window on Abortion Practice in the State

Montgomery Advertiser:  5 things learned in the Alabama abortion trial, by Brian Lyman:

A trial over an Alabama law requiring abortion doctors to have hospital admitting privileges is scheduled to conclude Monday. But the closing arguments may just be the start of a lengthy appeals process, regardless of how U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson rules. . . .

The strategies of both plaintiffs and the state suggest possible issues that may come up on appeal. But testimony has also opened a window on the practice of abortion in the state, and who seeks it. . . .

June 8, 2014 in In the Courts, Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers (TRAP) | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Federal Judge in Wisconsin TRAP Trial Tells Plaintiff To Make Further Efforts To Seek Admitting Privileges

ABC News:  Judge: Abortion Doctor Must Research Privileges, by Todd Richmond:

A federal judge told a Milwaukee abortion doctor Thursday to renew his efforts to obtain hospital admitting privileges, hinting that it could resolve a lawsuit alleging a Wisconsin law requiring such privileges is unconstitutional.

U.S. District Judge William Conley said he was "bewildered" that Affiliated Medical Services abortion provider Dr. Dennis Christensen and his attorneys haven't received definitive responses from any Milwaukee hospitals. He told them to demand better answers from two facilities where Christensen is seeking admitting privileges. . . .

May 29, 2014 in In the Courts, Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers (TRAP) | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

What's at Stake in the Trials on Admitting Privileges Laws

Slate: Caught in a TRAP, by Emily Bazelon:

If an Alabama law and others like it stick, abortion clinics will disappear from swaths of the U.S. map.

Abortion is on trial this week in Alabama. Technically speaking, the witnesses are appearing before federal District Judge Myron Thompson to discuss a new state law that requires doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at local hospitals. That sounds reasonable, I know, but it isn’t, and it’s also not what’s at stake. This trial is about whether poor women in red (and even purple) states will continue to have access to abortion, or whether some states will succeed in shutting down every clinic within driving distance, all in the name of protecting women (from themselves). . . .

May 28, 2014 in In the Courts, Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers (TRAP) | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Researchers Conclude that Judges with Daughters Tend To Vote "In a More Feminist Fashion"

NPR:  Research: Children Of Judges May Influence Court Decisions, by Shankar Vedantam:

It's been suspected that judges are swayed by their personal beliefs and affiliations. An analysis found that judges become more likely to rule in "pro-feminist" ways if the judges have daughters. . . .

Listen to the story.  Here is the abtract of the paper:

In this paper, we ask whether personal relationships can affect the way that judges decide cases. To do so, we leverage the natural experiment of a child's gender to identify the effect of having daughters on the votes of judges. Using new data on the family lives of U.S. Courts of Appeals judges, we find that, conditional on the number of children a judge has, judges with daughters consistently vote in a more feminist fashion on gender issues than judges who have only sons. This result survives a number of robustness tests and appears to be driven primarily by Republican judges. More broadly, this result demonstrates that personal experiences influence how judges make decisions, and it is the first paper to show that empathy may indeed be a component in how judges decide cases. . . .

May 28, 2014 in In the Courts, In the Media, Scholarship and Research | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Witnesses Testify on Abortion Safety in Third Day of Trial on Alabama Admitting Privileges Law

The Montgomery Advertiser: Doctor: Abortion safer than getting shot of penicillin, by Brian Lyman:

A Texas doctor Wednesday said a state law requiring doctors performing abortions to have admitting privileges at local hospitals was medically unnecessary and might end up harming women.

"The risk of death from live childbirth is about 8.8 per 100,000," Dr. Paul Fine, an OB-GYN and medical director of a Planned Parenthood affiliate serving Texas and Louisiana. "The risk of death from abortion is about six per 1 million. The risk of death from childbirth is about 14 times high than that of abortion." . . .

May 21, 2014 in In the Courts, Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers (TRAP) | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, May 19, 2014

Federal Trial Begins over Alabama Admitting Privileges Law

Montgomery Advertiser: Montgomery abortion clinic director testifies in trial, by Brian Lyman:

The fate of the state's abortion clinics may hinge on two questions: Can physicians at those clinics obtain admitting privileges at local hospitals, and if they can't, would the closing of those clinics put a substantial burden on abortion rights?

As testimony Monday on the first day of a federal trial indicated, the respective answers of the state and the clinics involved are miles apart. . . .

TuscaloosaNews.com:  Trial over Alabama abortion law begins, by Phillip Rawls:

The operators of three of Alabama's five abortion clinics testified Monday they use out-of-town doctors who wouldn't be able to admit patients to local hospitals as required under a new state law and would have to end abortion services if a federal judge allows the measure to take effect. . . .

May 19, 2014 in In the Courts, Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers (TRAP) | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

North Dakota Appeals Federal District Court Ruling Overturning Early "Heartbeat" Abortion Ban

TIME:  North Dakota Pushes ‘Heartbeat’ Abortion Ban to Higher Court, by Dan Kedmey:

More than 60 North Dakota lawmakers demanded a higher court revisit an overturned state law that would have banned abortions on fetuses with a detectable heartbeat

North Dakota’s Attorney General will appeal a court’s decision to strike down a state law banning the vast majority of abortions.

U.S. District Judge Daniel Hovland overturned the ban last month, calling the law “invalid and unconstitutional.” It would make abortions illegal from the time the fetus develops a heartbeat, which can often be detected six weeks into a pregnancy. . . .

May 14, 2014 in Abortion Bans, In the Courts | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, May 12, 2014

9th Circuit To Hear Arguments in Challenge to Arizona Restrictions on Use of Medication Abortion

AZCentral: Court to hear Arizona abortion drug limits case:

A federal appeals court panel is set to hear arguments on the legality of Arizona's new rules limiting the use of abortion-inducting drugs.

A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued an injunction blocking the rules from going into effect last month. The panel will hold a hearing on the case Tuesday. . . .

May 12, 2014 in In the Courts, Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers (TRAP) | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, May 11, 2014

The New York Times on the Real Motivation Behind TRAP Laws

The New York Times - editorial:  Real Goal of Abortion ‘Limits’: Bans:

Anti-abortion groups that saw a chance to get state legislatures to restrict women’s reproductive rights piously declared that all they wanted to do was to make women safer. This argument had little credibility then, and it has even less now. What has actually happened is that in state after state, with the enthusiastic support of Republican lawmakers, it has become increasingly difficult, if not impossible, for women to get safe and legal abortion care.

“In some parts of the country,” says Brigitte Amiri of the American Civil Liberties Union, “women will be living in a pre-Roe v. Wade situation, when those who weren’t wealthy or couldn’t travel long distances — especially the young and poor — couldn’t access safe and legal abortion services.” . . .

May 11, 2014 in In the Courts, Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers (TRAP) | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, April 28, 2014

Fifth Circuit Hears Arguments in Challenge to TRAP Law That Would Close Mississippi's Last Abortion Clinic

NPR:  Mississippi's Lone Abortion Clinic Fights To Remain Open, by Debbie Elliott:

Mississippi's only abortion clinic is fighting to remain open in the face of ever-tightening state regulations. The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans hears arguments Monday in a dispute over a state law that requires abortion providers to have hospital admitting privileges. . . .

MSNBC:  The end of abortion access in the South?, by Irin Carmon:

On Monday morning, a federal appeals court will hear arguments in the challenge to a Mississippi law that would close the last abortion clinic in the state. What’s at stake stretches far beyond Mississippi.

The same law that threatens to end legal abortion in Mississippi has swept across southern states, leaving women there with waning alternatives. Unless the federal courts step in, access may be decimated in a vast swath of the country, potentially closing three-quarters of the abortion clinics in states where 21 million women live. And so far, those courts have been decidedly divided on the constitutionality of such laws. . . .

Watch CUNY Law alumna and Center for Reproductive Rights State Legislative Counsel Amanda Allen and others discuss the case on MSNBC's Melissa Harris-Perry:

April 28, 2014 in In the Courts, Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers (TRAP) | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Federal Judge Declares North Dakota's 6-Week Abortion Ban Unconstitutional

CNN: Judge overturns North Dakota law banning most abortions, by Carma Hassan & Dana Ford:

A federal judge ruled Wednesday that North Dakota's abortion law, considered one of the most restrictive in the nation, is unconstitutional.

The law banned most abortions after six weeks, when a fetal heartbeat can be first detected. . . .

April 28, 2014 in Abortion Bans, In the Courts | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, April 4, 2014

Mississippi Judge Throws Out Murder Charges Against Woman in Death of Stillborn Child

ProPublica:  Judge Throws Out Murder Charge in Mississippi Fetal Harm Case, by Nina Martin:

The ruling means that the woman whose drug use had her facing a possible life term can at most be charged with manslaughter in the death of her stillborn daughter.

A Mississippi judge has thrown out murder charges against a young woman in the 2006 death of her stillborn child, a significant setback for prosecutors in a controversial case that has been closely followed both by women's rights groups and those interested in establishing rights for the unborn.

Rennie Gibbs, who was 16 when she gave birth to her stillborn daughter Samiya, had been indicted for "depraved heart murder" after traces of a cocaine byproduct were found in the baby's blood. The charge — defined under Mississippi law as an act "eminently dangerous to others...regardless of human life" — carries a maximum sentence of life in prison. . . .

April 4, 2014 in Fetal Rights, In the Courts, Pregnancy & Childbirth | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)