Before the U.S. Supreme Court concluded its term at the end of June and Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement, several decisions regarding abortion were issued. The most important was a 5-4 win for pro-life speech in the case of NIFLA v. Becerra in which the court ruled that the state of California could not compel pregnancy help center workers to violate their profound beliefs by referring women to abortion centers.
The pro-abortion California legislature had passed a law requiring medically-licensed pregnancy help centers to let their clients know how to get state-funded abortions, and requiring non-medical pregnancy centers to post (in up to 13 languages!) signs, notices on their website, etc., stating that they are not licensed. This law violated the First Amendment rights of all pregnancy help centers in the state. The suit was brought by the National Institute of Family and Life Advocates. This Supreme Court ruling will impact several similar laws in various parts of the country.
In another case, the Supreme Court declined to hear a case from Planned Parenthood that sought to overturn Arkansas’ law on chemical abortion (the “abortion pill”). The 2015 law requires abortion providers to have contracts with physicians who have hospital admitting privileges. Abortionists working for Planned Parenthood were unable to find doctors willing to sign such a contract. Because of the Supreme Court ruling, chemical abortion is on hold in Arkansas, for now at least.
On June 4, the justices unanimously vacated an order of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit that had allowed a pregnant, undocumented minor in federal custody to have an abortion in October 2017. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) was hoping to use the Appeals Court ruling as precedent to allow other undocumented minors to obtain tax-funded abortions in this country.