Abortion’s Back on the Supreme Court DocketTwo new cases regarding abortion rights in the U.S. are coming up before the high court. Let's just hope SCOTUS doesn't further limit access to reproductive health care as many states are finding ways to do just that.
Two new cases regarding abortion rights in the U.S. are coming up before the high court. McCullen v. Coakley will involve a clash between freedom of speech and the right to access abortion without obstruction; Cline v. Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice is about medical procedures that require abortion-inducing drugs. As many states pass law after law to limit access to abortions, causing many clinics to close down, the country has seen a drastic shift in reproductive rights. These two new cases could further shape women’s sexual health experiences and endanger their lives at a time when female mortality rates are already on the rise. Salon offers more information on the two critical cases:
The first case is a review of Massachusetts’ so-called buffer zone law, which prohibits protests within 35 feet of abortion clinics, and could have implications for similar laws in Colorado and Montana. As Rosanna Cavallaro, a law professor at Suffolk University, recently told the Associated Press, the case will weigh the free speech rights of antiabortion protesters against a woman’s right to seek abortion services free from obstruction, threats and physical harm.
“Do you have the right to speak with a bullhorn right up to someone’s face?” she noted. “At some point, speech becomes intimidation and harassment.”
The second case, while receiving less public attention than recent high-profile antiabortion laws like North Dakota’s ban on abortion at six weeks and Texas’ omnibus law, could have major implications for non-surgical abortion and may determine the new fault lines of abortion access in the United States, as Linda Greenhouse recently noted in the Times:
[It’s] no accident that medical abortion (or medication abortion, as it is also known) is the latest flash point in the abortion debate. That may be counterintuitive, given the prolonged hand-wringing over “partial-birth” and other “late-term” abortions; medical abortion is most effective in the first six or seven weeks of pregnancy (by which time the embryo is about the size of a pencil eraser) and doesn’t work after nine weeks (still in the first trimester, which is when about 90 percent of all abortions take place)… medical abortion offers an end-run around the obstacles that for years have been a core part of opposition strategy.
Let’s hope this new term that started Monday won’t be remembered for limiting women’s rights nationwide.
—Posted by Natasha HakimiWait, before you go…
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