Monday, December 14, 2015

230.1 - Good News: Abortion restriction found unconstitutional

Good News: Abortion restriction found unconstitutional

Getting back in gear (and with thanks for those who sent good thoughts) with some Good News, it seems that on November 20, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals struck down a Wisconsin law that requires abortion providers to get admitting privileges at nearby hospitals, declaring it to be an unconstitutional restriction on the right to an abortion.

The ruling was not really a surprise, since during oral arguments the three-judge panel peppered the state's attorneys with questions that expressed significant doubt about the law. One, Judge Richard Posner, went so far as to say there was no rational basis for the law, provided no health benefits for women, and was clearly designed to close abortion clinics - which is precisely true on all three accounts.

The issue could come up before the Supreme Court, but traditionally - traditionally, anyway - the Court only steps in to resolve issues where different appellate-level courts have come to different decisions, which hasn't happened here. Six other states have seen their own similar laws challenged in court and those states have lost every time. Such things may seem like small victories in light of the ongoing and often-successful attacks on reproductive rights, but while they may be small they still are victories. And that makes them Good News.

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