This week two circuit courts have made it clear that elective abortion is not an absolute right. Yesterday, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals ordered the district court to vacate most of its TRO that excluded elective abortions from Arkansas’s emergency measures that prohibited elective procedures to preserve personal protective equipment (“PPE”) for healthcare workers combatting the COVID-19 pandemic.
Just two days ago, we announced Texas’s victory in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, where the Court agreed with the ACLJ’s emergency amicus brief and the argument that most elective abortions are not an exception to a State’s right to emergency police powers that curb individual rights during a pandemic.
That same day Arkansas had appealed the district court’s Temporary Restraining Order (“TRO”) that prohibited the State’s emergency measures from applying to elective abortions. The ACLJ filed an emergency amicus brief in support of Arkansas’s police powers that protect its citizens against this deadly virus, and argued that “[t]he right to abortion is no exception,” per the Fifth Circuit holding.
Now, the Eighth Circuit has quoted the Fifth Circuit decision in support of Arkansas and held that “[t]he bottom line is this: when faced with a society-threatening epidemic, a state may implement emergency measures that curtail constitutional rights so long as the measures have at least some ‘real or substantial relation’ to the public health crisis and are not ‘beyond all question, a plain, palpable invasion of rights secured by the fundamental law.’”
Not only did the Eighth Circuit agree with the ACLJ’s argument and the Fifth Circuit’s decision, but they went as far as to chastise the district court for “commit[ing] clear abuses of discretion and, further, usurped the functions of the state government by second-guessing the State's policy choices in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.” The Court issued Arkansas a Writ of Mandamus and ordered the district court to dissolve the TRO.
These pro-life victories are a small step in disaffirming a “right” to kill an unborn child! We are thankful that these judicial leaders are taking a stand.
The precedent is clear–– your lives and safety come first, despite what Planned Parenthood argues. Abortion is not an exception to the emergency measures set in place to protect all U.S. citizens from this pandemic.
We are watching for Planned Parenthood to appeal these cases to the Supreme Court because they will stop at nothing to further their mission of killing innocent babies. The ACLJ is ready, and we will fight back.
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