Supreme Court Rejects Arizona Appeal of Abortion Restrictions

Supreme CourtThe United States Supreme Court on Monday turned aside Arizona’s appeal to reinstate its law banning most abortions after 20-weeks. In Horne v. Isaacson (13-402), the state asked the Court to review the decision of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. It declined to do so.

Some twelve states have shortened the period for lawful abortions — below the period set by the Supreme Court decades ago. Rather than 24 weeks, Arizona set a 20 week period.

The appeal presented three potentially sweeping questions: First, where the Ninth Circuit was correct that the “viability” line from Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey remains the only critical factor in determining constitutionality; Second, whether the Ninth Circuit was wrong in refusing to consider fetal pain as a state interest as well as other factors; and finally, whether Roe v. Wade and its progeny should be revisited in light of new medical research.

The Ninth Circuit decision will stand, including the following holding:

As Roe and its many progeny make clear, viability, although not a fixed point, is the critical point. The Supreme Court has recognized that viability varies among pregnancies and that improvements in medical technology will both push later in pregnancy the point at which abortion is safer than childbirth and advance earlier in gestation the point of fetal viability. See Casey, 505 U.S. at 860 . Indeed, such trends led Justice O’Connor to remark, prior to Casey, that “the Roe framework… is on a collision course with itself.” Akron, 462 U.S. at 458 (O’Connor, J., dissenting). But while “time has overtaken some of Roe’s factual assumptions,” prompting the abandonment of the trimester framework, “no changes of fact have rendered viability more or less appropriate as the point at which the balance of interests tips.” Casey, 505 U.S. at 860-61 . Evolving medical realities have not eroded Roe’s central legal holding-that “viability marks the earliest point at which the State’s interest in fetal life is constitutionally adequate to justify a legislative ban on nontherapeutic abortions.” Id. at 860 . Casey could not have been clearer when it stated:

“The soundness or unsoundness of that constitutional judgment in no sense turns on whether viability occurs at approximately 28 weeks, as was usual at the time of Roe, at 23 to 24 weeks, as it sometimes does today, or at some moment even slightly earlier in pregnancy, as it may if fetal respiratory capacity can somehow be enhanced in the future. Whenever it may occur, the attainment of viability may continue to serve as the critical fact, just as it has done since Roe was decided.”

This will not be the last we hear of this issue. Texas and other states are still raising analogous arguments in challenges. Viability as a standard put the abortion rulings in a constant tension with medical science as technology allows earlier and earlier dates of viability. At some point, those advances will be difficult to ignore unless the Court removes viability as such a critical factor in the constitutional analysis.

34 thoughts on “Supreme Court Rejects Arizona Appeal of Abortion Restrictions

  1. I wonder if the Supreme Court’s decision indicates that it has little appetite for abortion cases at the moment. This one would seem like a good vehicle for a decision further eroding Roe, and it comes from the Ninth Circuit — which is usually the Justices’ favorite target. Perhaps the conservatives want to let this issue lie for a few terms (although I absolutely agree that this is not the last word on these issues).

  2. These state legislatures need to stop wasting time enacting laws almost knowing certainly the supremes will strike them down. There are other issues to tackle.

  3. I’m pro choice, but I do have moral misgivings in allowing abortions past the point of viability. With the very early pregnancy testing, a woman can know if she is pregnant quite soon after a missed period, because of this the cut off time at 20 weeks may not be that much of a greater burden for women to obtain an abortion. However the fact that getting an abortion can be quite difficult now with all the closings of the clinics in various states and unreasonable demands on women and doctors, women will be hard pressed to get an abortion before that 20 week mark. Make abortion readily available to women and stop putting personhood on a fetus that doesn’t even have the neural connections needed to feel pain. We consider brain activity as a way of determining life in an adult, why consider a fetus more human than a grown adult without brain activity?

  4. We chastise other societies for weaving religious beliefs into their legal framework, a la Muslim/Sharia law, but deep down, we’re no different.

  5. I have a thought and a question for the “religiousos”. If they are against the abortion, then their god/s are the biggest abortionists that ever existed because a miscarriage is an abortion by the omnipotent.

    What does freewill mean in Christianity or any other religion? Isn’t it the same thing as pro-choice?

    It is a shame the The GOP congress wasted our hard earned money that we pay in taxes to pass 49 times the anti abortion bill that went no where for the right reasons. If they are serious about reducing the budget, this is the place to start.

  6. Yeah, BarkinDog is right, its res judicata without the race. And some things like fat tummies speak for itself so its res ipsa and the High Court has had enough loquation on the matter.

  7. BarkinDog wrote: “Exception for anyone with last name Roe.”

    Not sure Roe cares about exceptions. Did you know Roe converted to Christianity, stopped her lesbian lifestyle, and she is now pro-life? She even petitioned the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade.

  8. It is a personal decision to be made between a woman and her medical doctor, government (courts/congress) should have no say in the matter whatsoever.

    Medical decisions need be based upon fact and freedom of choice not someones ideology.

  9. Lew wrote: “you asked why anyone would want a late term abortion. The answer is that it is none of your business.”

    I disagree. There are rights and interests involved from at least four different parties when considering an abortion. 1) the mother, 2) the father, 3) the unborn child, and 4) the government which polices murder and regulates drugs that can take the life of another. Above this, there are likely the interests of relatives involved, and add also the fact that the decline in concern for life within society as a whole affects everybody. When life is cheapened, young people are inclined to commit suicide and to shoot up schools and movie theaters and malls, etc.

    My neighbor is still so very hurt because her sister took her daughter to have an abortion. She was so very depressed that her sister helped her daughter kill her grandchild. The daughter completely regrets doing it now. She said it was nothing like she expected it would be. She thought they would give her a pill or something and that was it. Instead, they induced labor and she suffered for hours delivering a dead baby with head, arms, legs, etc. She was horrified and traumatized by what happened and said she would never do anything like that again. Her mother is not very educated and she considers it murder for whatever reason. Nobody will ever change her mind that her daughter murdered her grand baby. These kinds of experiences are not good for society and the public, especially when we have so many options available.

  10. davidm2575 writes:
    [BarkinDog wrote: “Exception for anyone with last name Roe.”

    Not sure Roe cares about exceptions. Did you know Roe converted to Christianity, stopped her lesbian lifestyle, and she is now pro-life? She even petitioned the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade.]

    David: you are being dishonest again as usual. Do you mean there are no Christian Gays? That is one more dishonest statement on your part. Do not give me an excuse of your making a mistake because when I said the same thing about your being dishonest in another post, you just apologised.

    Secondly, educating yourself is not your forte which is rather a shame because you being one of the bubble dwellers of the GOP only parrots what they tell you rather than having any independent thought process of your own..

    You wrote: “3) the unborn child”.

    FYI: Fetus is NOT an unborn child. It is NOT a child/person till he/she is born. A fetus is a parasite. I have no idea if you took biology in your high school. I asked you earlier to define life for me. Rather than educating me, you kept mum for some reason.

    So, please stop misleading others with your blatant nonsensical untrue statements.

  11. ok lets pick this apart. in laymans terms.. 1. we know or most of us know there is a plan in place in depopulation as they state we are using up their resources..

    2. there are women out here for who birth control has no worked.. my first 2 kids were born while i was on birth control pills. so that puts me in the 1% that the pills dont work for..
    then there is the fact that condoms break. my last child is a testament to that!

    and lets not have any protections for women impregnanted of molestion, rape. because they dont count..

    nor do the women who know they arent ready to be a mother. but birthed the child anyway to put up for adoption of course adoption has worked out perfectly…

    then we have those who think they are ready to be parents until reality hits them and then they kids end up severly abused in all forms.

    and yes lets also leave out the fact that hidden in obama care is the edit that now your kids can be taken from you for any reason at all no warrants needed.

    dont want your child vaccinated you’re a bad parent.
    you smoke cigarettes you’re a bad parent
    you put your child on time out you’re a bad parent.

    http://educate-yourself.org/cn/hhsCeausescustyle17aug13.shtml

    come on people wake up this is a blatant move to keep you distracted from the truth….. not to mention who are YOU to tell me whats right or wrong for me? i cant tell you about your life so why do you think you should have the right to tell me about mines?

    TIME TO WAKE UP.

  12. Some interesting points. To those that support the right of the woman to choose what to do with her own body, Are you also for complete legalization of prostitution?

  13. I wonder what happens when states say that they will not uphold the decisions of the federally appointed supreme court and instead follow the will of their locally elected legislatures. Any thoughts??

  14. DavidM wrote: “Did you know Roe converted to Christianity, stopped her lesbian lifestyle, and she is now pro-life? She even petitioned the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade.”

    Teji Malik wrote: “Do you mean there are no Christian Gays?”

    It is completely illogical for you to infer this from what I said. There are many Christian gays. I was just pointing out another example of an ex-gay person because a guest blogger here has expressed previously that they do not exist.

    I respectfully ask that you dial back on your insults and epithets. You have a habit of insulting me, insulting my wife, insulting my business acumen, insulting my political affiliations, and even insulting what you assumed was my religion. If you really believe me to be inherently dishonest, why would you even want to speak with me? Dialogue with the others here who you perceive to be honest.

  15. Our civil rights are being taken away, our taxes are funding the never ending war, the middle class is gone, and health care is a luxury only the well off can afford.

    Abortion laws have been passed. The topic of abortion has been taken care of. Can we move on now?

    At this point, abortion is just a diversion to keep people from focusing on the relevant issues of our time.

  16. WalkingTheMasses wrote: “At this point, abortion is just a diversion to keep people from focusing on the relevant issues of our time.”

    It is not a diversion. How we think about life and reproduction affects all of society greatly. When children are brought up in a culture that devalues life, there are serious consequences to civilization.

  17. Teji:

    DavidM isnt a liar and he knows a good deal about many things. I seem to remember that he apologized for a simple mistake which he readily admitted when it was shown to him.

    Why do you resort to inuendo, name calling, denigration of him, his family and of his beliefs?

    The professor asked for that type of behavior to cease. Apparnetly you missed the memo?

  18. davidm2575 wrote “When children are brought up in a culture that devalues life, there are serious consequences to civilization.”

    Kids are being brought up in a country (USA) where people suffer, go bankrupt and die because they cannot afford the necessary medical treatment that they need. Is this the kind of culture that values life? I think not.

    Kids are being brought up in a country where we send innocent solders to fight wars and die for oil. FOR OIL – NOT FREEDOM. Is this the kind of culture that values life? I think not.

    We are in for some serious consequesces and it has nothing to do with abortion.

  19. davidm2575 writes:

    [DavidM wrote: “Did you know Roe converted to Christianity, stopped her lesbian lifestyle, and she is now pro-life? She even petitioned the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade.”

    Teji Malik wrote: “Do you mean there are no Christian Gays?”

    It is completely illogical for you to infer this from what I said. There are many Christian gays. I was just pointing out another example of an ex-gay person because a guest blogger here has expressed previously that they do not exist.]

    David: That is exactly you inferred to. Read your own post again. Becoming a Christian and stopped her gay life style. Well, no one is sure about the latter because one is born with the sexuality. She may have said that because of fear of retaliation by people like you. I asked you once if you were born with the sexuality you have or you had and still have a choice. You did not respond to that for the reasons known to you. What happens if one day you come to know that one of your kids is gay? How would you act with him/her? What happens if one of your kids has an abortion? How would you react about it then?

    The guest blogger is right, one is born the way one is. If not, then share your sexuality and if you have changed it since you were born and have become an ex of some kind.

    [I respectfully ask that you dial back on your insults and epithets.]

    It is OK for you to bring Barney Franks and talk about hoes. It is laughable to say the least, the kettle calling the pot black.

    [ You have a habit of insulting me, insulting my wife, insulting my business acumen, insulting my political affiliations, and even insulting what you assumed was my religion.]

    I will call anyone who is being dishonest when they are. The funny thing is when I told you that you were dishonest about the “Inflation is out of control”, you accepted your dishonesty, now you have the tickle for some reason. I have never insulted you nor did I insult your wife. You are being dishonest here. I told you to fire your accountant and keep your wife. Is that an insult to your wife?

    Regarding your business acumen, you are being dishonest again. It is you who said that all your friends were dishonest and cheaters except you. I hope you are honest enough to tell them that, otherwise you are claiming your dishonesty yourself.

    If I do not know your religion how can I insult your religion? You are funny and as slippery as okra, as they say in Brasil.

    How can one insult one’s political affiliations ? Please show some concrete examples here. Honesty is needed.

    [If you really believe me to be inherently dishonest, why would you even want to speak with me? Dialogue with the others here who you perceive to be honest.]

    This a place where we all interact and if someone is dishonest,he/she should be called for, simply put.

    The most laughable part is that you can insult anyone, the Democratic party, the people who are pro choice, but when someone points that out to you, you feel all offended. Time to grow up mate and take the heat. We are in this lovely kitchen of life.

  20. Teji Malik wrote: “That is exactly you inferred to. Read your own post again. Becoming a Christian and stopped her gay life style [sic]. Well, no one is sure about the latter because one is born with the [sic] sexuality.”

    You make huge jumps in logic, not only here, but in many of your posts. It makes it very difficult to correspond with you. I could have said she became a Muslim and stopped her gay lifestyle, or that she became a nun and became a pedophile. The point is that she embraced a religion and drastically changed the way she thinks and lives. The national court case that represented her no longer represents her.

    As for your last statement about how one is born with their sexuality, I find such a statement ludicrous. It is like saying that one is born with their intelligence: no education or knowledge needed. A child does not come out of the womb having a sexual attraction for anything. While there are genetic factors that contribute toward whether a person might be open to same sex relationships, there also are environmental factors and cognitive factors and actual choices made that determine a person’s sexuality. Sexuality is developed over the course of years, just like intelligence and personality is.

  21. davidm2575 writes:

    “As for your last statement about how one is born with their sexuality, I find such a statement ludicrous. It is like saying that one is born with their intelligence: no education or knowledge needed. A child does not come out of the womb having a sexual attraction for anything. While there are genetic factors that contribute toward whether a person might be open to same sex relationships, there also are environmental factors and cognitive factors and actual choices made that determine a person’s sexuality. Sexuality is developed over the course of years, just like intelligence and personality is”.

    David: I expected more from your so called logic. Some people are born intelligent by nature and are called precocious and many nurture this gift of nature with time, perseverance and against odds. For some intelligence is part of the nurturing process. Personality is nature.ADD, ADHD, Bipolar,autistic are not nurtured which are the building blocks of one’s personality.

    The same way some people are born gay by nature and they accept themselves with time against all odds even with the fear of getting killed. Google Matthew Shepard who was murdered for being a gay.

    However, knowledge is nurtured. You are correct in this one.

    You are confused between nature and nurture. Sexual preference is not developed through time but one is born with it.

    Did you have different sexual preferences to choose from in your life time?

    :

  22. Teji Malik wrote: “Some people are born intelligent by nature and are called precocious and many nurture this gift of nature with time, perseverance and against odds.”

    Yes, some have a genetic predisposition toward intelligence, but much more goes into intelligence than just that predisposition. If a person does not develop his mind, he will not reach that full potential. The genetic coding for actual knowledge and wisdom is not there. The DNA codes only for the tools that might enable intelligence to develop more fully. A baby does not come out of the womb able to work out mathematical formulas and able to understand the mysteries of the universe.

    Teji Malik wrote: “Google Matthew Shepard who was murdered for being a gay.”

    Matthew Shepard was NOT murdered for being gay. Maybe you should Google Matthew Shepard. The murderer who dealt the death blow was bisexual and had no problems with Shepard being gay. They apparently had sex together before in a threesome. The same murderers later that same night got into another bloody fight with two other guys.

    Here is one report that Google turns up:
    http://abcnews.go.com/2020/story?id=277685&page=1&singlePage=true

    I read the following book from Amazon last year and highly recommend it if you have interest in the murder of Matthew Shepard: The Book of Matt: Hidden Truths About the Murder of Matthew Shepard, by Stephen Jimenez.

    Teji Malik wrote: “Sexual preference is not developed through time but one is born with it.”

    Sexual preference is determined by much more than just nature. There are not even discrete boundaries for sexuality. We talk about homosexual, bisexual, heterosexual, and asexual, but these are just convenient stereotypes. In reality, there is a spectrum of sexual preferences that is different for everybody, and one’s genetics, culture, environment, and choices they make determine their sexuality. It is much more complicated than just “one is born with it.”

  23. David wrote: “Sexual preference is determined by much more than just nature. There are not even discrete boundaries for sexuality. We talk about homosexual, bisexual, heterosexual, and asexual, but these are just convenient stereotypes. In reality, there is a spectrum of sexual preferences that is different for everybody, and one’s genetics, culture, environment, and choices they make determine their sexuality. It is much more complicated than just “one is born with it.”
    ~+~
    I would agree with that.

  24. davidm2575

    … some have a genetic predisposition toward intelligence, but much more goes into intelligence than just that predisposition.

    ================
    DNA is not alive, it is a molecule.

    In the new paradigm of genetic science molecular machines in DNA and in cells determine genetic dynamics (The Uncertain Gene – 8). The ribosome is one example of a molecular machine that fabricates genetic molecules.

    Some of the better known evolutionists consider human intelligence to be a lethal mutation (What Kind of Intelligence Is A Lethal Mutation?).

  25. davidm2575

    Dredd wrote: “DNA is not alive, it is a molecule.”

    Yes, so what’s your point?

    (You know I have a Masters degree in Biology, right?)
    ====================
    Which says nothing about abiotic dynamics of genetics.

    My point also indicates that a masters degree from 1950 is not the same as one from 2010.

    Especially one in biology, which has nothing to do with molecular machines or the genes they manufacture, which are also not biological.

    Biological evolution is not involved in the evolution of atomic and molecular machines over about 10.21 billion years prior to the first biological entity.

    It was all abiotic, like DNA.

    This case is about when a fetus is viable, which does not have anything to do with intelligence.

    Especially genetic predisposition as you mentioned it

    Your supposed genetics of intelligence (“some have a genetic predisposition toward intelligence”) is not implicated in the case, nor is it scientifically viable following the collapse of Eugenics in the previous century.

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