5 Pro-Life Cases to Watch as the Supreme Court Begins Its New Term

Photo: Matt Lockett
Photo: Matt Lockett

This week, the U.S. Supreme Court begins its new term which will continue through next June. As the nine justices meet about which cases from the thirteen lower Courts of Appeals to take up, only the most weighty and controversial issues will rise to the top.

Following a summer which brought unprecedented attention to the issue of abortion, several cases yet to be granted review have people on the right, left and center all closely watching the Supreme Court.

“Abortion And Birth Control Top Supreme Court Agenda” proclaims the Associated Press headline, while a more partisan article begins: ”Less than a year from now, Roe v. Wade could be all-but-dead.”

Abortion is no simple issue. Social trends show the abortion rate down nationwide, yetU.S. laws remain uniquely remiss at protecting lives in the womb (when compared with other Western nations). Perhaps recognizing its broad Roe v. Wade decision as out-of-step with public opinion, the Supreme Court has more recently ruled in favor of restrictingcertain abortion practices.

As the looming 2016 election will amplify public debate about their decisions, will the Supreme Court justices choose to take up these cases?

1. Texas Pro-Life Law Protects Women and Innocents
Case: Whole Woman’s Health v. Cole
From 5th Circuit Court of Appeals
Last Action: October 5, 2015
The years-long battle to protect pre-born lives in Texas isn’t over yet. Research indicates that more than 10,000 babies in the womb have been saved due to H.B. 2, which enacted commonsense regulations on abortion centers. Yet the law, which passed the Texas House by a bipartisan majority of 96-49 and was signed into law on July 18, 2013, has only been partially implemented.
Abortion providers have filed lawsuit after lawsuit, making arguments against the law’s higher safety standards. One case, backed by an abortion center in El Paso along with several Planned Parenthood clinics, has prevailed before lower-court judges… and now it may be heard before the nation’s highest court.
On Monday, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton requested that the Supreme Courtuphold the lower court’s ruling which would “protect the health and welfare of Texas women.”
2. Mississippi Abortion Clinic Sues to Thwart State Regulations
Case: Currier v. Jackson Woman’s Health Organization
From 5th Circuit Court of Appeals
Last Action: May 7, 2015
In another contentious case of an appeals court reversing a state law, a Mississippi abortion center says its providers should be exempt from health and safety requirements all other physicians must meet. The law passed the Mississippi House by 80-37 on March 13, 2012, yet has been held up in court ever since.
Dr. Brent Boles, a practicing OB-GYN who has admitting privileges at a nearby hospital, explains the law from a clinical point of view: “In the vast majority of cases in which patients have experienced complications during or after abortions, the patient gets no help from the center. Women often present to an emergency room and see doctors who have no prior experience in handling the complications of abortion.”
Many speculate that this case, wherein public-interest legal group Alliance Defending Freedom backs Mississippi, will be granted review by the Supreme Court.
Click here to read more.
After 10 years on staff at The Heritage Foundation and Focus on the Family, Josh M. Shepherd currently serves in communications at Bound4LIFE International – a grassroots movement to pray for the ending of abortion and for revival worldwide. He earned a degree in Business Marketing from the University of Colorado. He and his wife Terri live in the Washington, DC area.