Bioethics in Law & Culture Fall 2018 vol. 1 issue 4
A summary of state legislation from 07 July to 30 September 2018
Joe Kral, M.A.
Dismemberment Abortion Ban:
August 22, 2018 – The Eleventh Court of Appeals ruled Alabama’s Dismemberment Abortion Ban unconstitutional. Chief Judge Ed Carnes, began the majority opinion in a most interesting way by stating, "Some Supreme Court Justices have been of the view that there is constitutional law and then there is the aberration of constitutional law relating to abortion. If so, what we must apply here is the aberration."
July 30, 2018 – Federal District Court Judge Kristine Baker ruled that Arkansas is within its rights to prohibit Medicaid funds from going to Planned Parenthood.
August 22, 2018 – The Eighth Court of Appeals has denied a request by the state to put on hold a federal district judge’s order preventing the enforcement of their law that mandates that those abortionists who prescribe abortion pills must be contracted with a physician with hospital admitting privileges who will handle any complications.
Abortion Drugs (University Campuses):
August 29, 2018 – SB 320 has passed the California Assembly. This bill, if signed into law, will mandate that California public universities and colleges provide abortion drugs on campus health care centers. The drugs would be effective up to 10 weeks of pregnancy. It would also require public universities and colleges to cover abortion in their insurance plans.
September 30, 2018 – SB 320 was vetoed by Governor Jerry Brown.
August 7, 2018 – The California Senate passed AB 282 which would legalize assisted suicide in the state. The state has an assisted suicide law on the books that is being challenged because it may have been improperly introduced during a special session. AB 282 is a response to that lawsuit. The bill will now await either Governor Jerry Brown’s signature or veto.
September 7, 2018 – California Governor Jerry Brown has signed AB 282.
Pro-Life Free Speech:
September 20, 2018 – Federal District Court struck down a Hawaii law that mandated that pregnancy resource centers advertise for abortion in light of the NIFLA v Becerra decision.
Abortion Complication Reporting:
July 17, 2018 – Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and Hawaiian Islands filed suit to challenge the constitutionality of Idaho’s Abortion Complications Reporting Act. The law went into effect on July 1 and mandated that 37 different types of complications must be reported to the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare.
July 25, 2018 – The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the district court’s ruling that Indian’s Ultrasound law is unconstitutional.
Fetal Heartbeat Law:
September 5, 2018 – Iowa District Judge Michael Huppert, ruled against Save the 1’s motion to intervene stating that such intervention would delay the case. Currently, the ACLU is suing Iowa in state court to have the law declared unconstitutional under the state constitution.
Abortionist Hospital Admitting Privileges:
September 26, 2018 – The US Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled, 2-1, in favor of Louisiana’s law that mandates abortionists must have admitting privileges to a nearby hospital.
Repealing Pre-Roe Laws:
July 18, 2018 – The Massachusetts House voted to repeal their pre-Roe laws that ban abortion and contraception. The bill, entitled the N.A.S.T.Y. Act (Negating Archaic State laws Targeting Young women), was passed 136-9. The bill is designed to keep abortion legal if Roe v. Wade is overturned. Governor Charlie Baker has indicated he will sign the bill.
July 27, 2018 – Governor Charlie Baker signed the N.A.S.T.Y. Act in law.
Abortion Clinic/Doc Regulation:
September 10, 2018 – The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld Missouri’s law that mandates clinics be licensed as ambulatory surgical centers and abortionists to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital. Missouri’s law differs from the Texas law that was decided in Whole Women’s Health v Hellerstedt.
Pro-Life Tax Credit:
July 18, 2018 – It was reported that at the end of June, Governor Mike Parson signed HB 1288 which would increase the tax credit to those who contribute to pro-life crisis pregnancy centers. The law is to take effect on July 1, 2019.
Reproductive Rights Executive Order:
July 9, 2018 – Governor Andrew Cuomo signed an executive order mandating the protection of abortion and contraceptive coverage in the state of New York. This was done in anticipation of the possible overturning of Roe v. Wade/Doe v. Bolton with the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the United States Supreme Court.
July 29, 2018 – Planned Parenthood announced its intention to sue the state of South Carolina in order to receive state funding. Governor Henry McMaster signed an order earlier this year in which it was directed that Planned Parenthood would not be eligible to receive state Medicaid funds.
State Constitutional Protections:
July 23, 2018 – It was reported that the Amendment 1 case has been appealed to the United States Supreme Court earlier in July by pro-abortion advocates. Earlier in the year, the US Sixth Court of Appeals ruled that the passage of the amendment was constitutional. The amendment to the state constitution stipulated, “Nothing in this Constitution secures or protects a right to abortion or requires the funding of an abortion.” The passage of the amendment was to ensure that the state of Tennessee could pass measures to limit the harm of abortion.
Humane Fetal Disposition Law:
September 5, 2018 – US District Court Judge Ezra ruled that Texas’ humane fetal disposition law is unconstitutional. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is expected to appeal the decision to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Undue Burden Case:
September 26, 2018 – US District Judge Henry Hudson dismissed the case against Virginia’s pro-life laws claiming they cumulatively create an undue burden. However, while this case was dismissed there are several more counts that the state must defend. Virginia still needs to defend their laws that second trimester abortions must be performed by a physician in a hospital and the state’s “Two-Trip” law which is essentially a waiting period.