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Could New Abortion Bans Lose in Court?

5 0 11
26.06.2022

The Supreme Court’s decision overturning Roe v. Wade is, without a doubt, the end of an era. For the foreseeable future, there is no constitutional right to abortion.

But Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization is also the beginning of a new one: politically, legislatively, and legally. In fact, there are still ways to defend women’s rights in court, including some already under way. “There are opportunities to reduce the harm,” Brigitte Amiri, deputy director of the ACLU’s Reproductive Freedom Project, said in an interview hours after the Court’s decision. “And that’s the point where we are now.”

Avenues exist on both the state and federal levels.

Several states have guarantees of privacy, autonomy, and bodily integrity in their constitutions that are absent in the federal constitution. In Florida, for example, the ACLU and Planned Parenthood have already sued to stop a 15-week abortion ban on the basis of the state’s constitution, which contains a right to privacy. (Since the law is set to go into effect on July 1, the hearing on the ACLU’s motion for a preliminary injunction is this Monday.) In Utah, they filed suit on Saturday on the basis of several parts of that state’s constitution covering family rights and the right to privacy. Meanwhile, in Michigan, the ACLU won an injunction last month to stop the state’s 90-year-old abortion ban from going into effect once Roe v. Wade was overturned. A court there found that the ban violates the rights to liberty, bodily integrity, and privacy under Michigan’s constitution and civil-rights laws. Similar cases are pending in Ohio and North Carolina. “We have years of experience suing under state constitutions when there were laws that we couldn’t challenge federally,” said Amiri, citing the exclusion of abortion coverage from Medicaid as one example.

Meanwhile, in Michigan, the ACLU won an injunction last month to stop the state’s 90-year-old abortion ban from going into effect once Roe v. Wade was overturned. A court there found that the ban violates the rights to liberty,........

© Daily Intelligencer


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