Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Burying Reproductive Rights - Box v Planned Parenthood

By Margaret Drew

The Supreme Court upheld the lower court's a portion of the lower courts decision that an Indiana law that requires doctors who perform abortions to see that fetal remains are either buried or cremated.   The Indiana provision requires those who perform abortions to either bury the fetal remains or cremate them.  According to the court, when Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky brought this case to challenge the disposal requirement, they did not argue that the requirement placed an undue burden on women seeking abortions. That left the court to decide the constitutionality of the law using a lower, rational basis standard.

But the regulations do burden women albeit indirectly. Every time a new condition is imposed upon doctors who perform abortions their costs are increased and they are under additional scrutiny.  Higher costs, increasing professional and personal pressures will likely push an increasing number of doctors to abandon the practice.

So this is how reproductive rights will be de facto abolished.  Burden the doctors to such an extent that the real costs of providing abortions become untenable.  As the majority of the Roberts court may seek to undo abortion rights incrementally, a successful legal challenge to the burdening laws will likely be cumulative.  Eventually, details on the increased costs will be available, along with evidence of the cumulative personal costs to the doctors.  At some point, the case might be made as to undue burdens, but in the meantime, the weightiest burden lies on those women in need of abortions.





Margaret Drew, Reproductive Rights | Permalink


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