Killing babies before birth in abortion, like killing them after birth in infanticide, is wrong even if someone could show the killing would bring health benefits for adults. And for those who think abortion is an essential right, it probably doesn’t matter much to them whether abortion is good or bad for women’s health. Nevertheless, the U.S. Supreme Court has relied in part upon the supposed safety of abortion in structuring its abortion jurisprudence.
The ACLJ has therefore undertaken to challenge – and explode – the claim of abortion apologists that abortion is very safe, even safer than childbirth. As we have demonstrated now in three different amicus briefs to the Supreme Court – the latest one just filed – the deliberate interruption of the natural, healthy physical process of pregnancy by use of metal instruments, poisonous drugs, and/or powerful suction machines is decidedly not good for a woman's health.
Our most recent filing comes in a case out of Tennessee involving that state’s COVID-19 restrictions, which limited many elective medical procedures, including elective abortions. (We also filed an amicus brief in this case in the appellate court below.) Abortion providers sued in federal court and won on their contention that the COVID-19 restrictions were unconstitutional; meanwhile, the temporary COVID-19 restrictions expired. Tennessee, in the case of Slatery v. Adams & Boyle, is now asking the Supreme Court to vacate – erase – the abortionists’ victories on grounds of mootness. Along the way, Tennessee points out that the federal appeals court’s adverse ruling “warrants this Court’s plenary review” (Pet. p. 4) and that the only obstacle is the mootness of the COVID-19 limitations.
We took the occasion to file an amicus brief taking on the “abortion is healthy” claim. Our brief makes a particular point of rebutting the phony claim that abortion is safer than childbirth, explaining that “the premises underlying this myth are embarrassingly inadequate.” We made that argument previously in our amicus brief in the June Medical abortion case and in an earlier amicus brief in the Whole Woman’s Health abortion case, both in the Supreme Court. Now that there is a new Supreme Court Justice on the Court, and a whole new set of law clerks, it was particularly important to get this information before the Justices and their clerks.
In our new Slatery brief, we point out:
[T]his case starkly highlights a recurring contradiction in abortion advocacy. The abortion proponents claim, on the one hand, that “abortion is extremely safe throughout pregnancy,” . . . but simultaneously claim, on the other hand, that “[d]elaying a woman’s access to abortion even by a matter of days can result in her having to undergo a lengthier and more complex procedure that involves progressively greater health risks,” . . . . To repeat, per the abortion advocates, abortion is always “extremely” safe, but even a short delay in having an abortion gives rise to an unacceptable – indeed, unconstitutional – health risk to the mother. These two propositions cannot both be true, and they are not. In fact, abortions pose significant maternal health risks throughout pregnancy . . . . (And yes, those risks increase the later the abortion is done, while perhaps not at the breakneck rate abortionists suggest.) If one follows the science, it is statistically safer to bear a child than to abort.
The brief goes on to explain at length that “the claim that abortion is safer than childbirth is a fiction, resting on demonstrably flawed premises and refuted by study after study.” As we conclude:
There is strong evidence that abortion is positively detrimental to maternal health and, if anything, more likely to lead to death or other adverse consequences than is continuing the pregnancy. . . . Access to abortion is no favor to women’s health.
To see the arguments in full, read our amicus brief.
As for the Tennessee case, the abortionists currently have until mid-December to respond to Tennessee’s petition, and the Supreme Court will likely decide sometime early in 2021 whether to review the case, to vacate the decision below for mootness, or simply to deny Tennessee’s petition. In the meantime, the Supreme Court has a petition for review in another abortion case pending on its docket. Sooner or later, abortion will be back for full Supreme Court consideration. And when it is, we want the Court to have the facts – not just pro-abortion propaganda – about the reality of abortion.
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