SCOTUS To Make Two Major Abortion Rulings

( – Two years after the landmark 1973 decision of Roe v. Wade was overturned in the Supreme Court by another landmark decision, the court is planning to hand down two new rulings within the next few weeks that will once again shake up the legal playing field for abortions.

It’s been two years since the 2022 Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision, which overturned Roe v. Wade as well as the 1992 Planned Parenthood v. Casey decision, and the landscape of abortion law has shifted state by state. Some states have enacted heavy restrictions or outright bans on the practice of abortion, while others alongside the Biden administration have loosened restrictions and transformed into safe haven states for women seeking abortions who may come from states that restrict it.

Two new cases are now in the process of being weighed by the Supreme Court that could shift this landscape again.

The first is a case from Idaho over a law entirely banning abortions throughout the state with special limited exceptions for situations involving rape, incest, or endangerment of the mother’s life. The Department of Justice (DOJ) sued Idaho over the ban, claiming it violates the 1986 Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA) which makes it illegal for hospitals to turn away patients experiencing a medical emergency. The DOJ argued in court that the restriction stops doctors from being able to perform emergency abortions due to fear of prosecution

The second case, which the Supreme Court heard arguments for in March, involves relaxed regulations by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on obtaining prescriptions for abortion pills. The policy is being challenged by the Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine who argue allowing the pills to be shipped by mail or prescribed without a visit to the doctor in person would put women at risk.

Like Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health, how these cases turn out will dramatically shift the legal and political landscape surrounding the issue of abortion. Those rulings will also likely be challenged, particularly with arguments of political motivation behind the formation of legislation.

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