Abcarian: The anti-abortion gang that couldn’t shoot straight has lost again — this time, in court.
Today, the Supreme Court agreed to hear two cases: a Pennsylvania abortion-rights group that wants to challenge a Pennsylvania law that restricts the use of its tax benefits, and two women who are challenging their state laws in a case that some might say is more about abortion than contraception.
In the first case, Americans United for Life (AUL) says that Pennsylvania may not be enforcing its anti-abortion law against religious-affiliated organizations like it, and that it’s violating religious freedom. This is a case that will likely split the court.
In the second case, the American Civil Liberties Union argues that Virginia’s controversial abortion ban — passed by a Democrat-controlled legislature in 2011 — violates the constitution’s ban on government-sponsored religion. As the ACLU’s lawyers told judges this morning: “A true believer’s religion is a private matter…and it is the government that should not interfere with the expression of religion.”
It was a long day for the abortion lobby, and the long-term result of years of delay and misdirected passion from lawmakers and judges. Because of the anti-abortion groups’ failure to convince Congress to ban so-called partial-birth abortion, many of these organizations and their supporters spent most of 2011 and early 2012 hoping that the Supreme Court would put them out of business. Instead, they were denied access to the courts.
The abortion lobby has made little progress in stopping the practice. In 2013, a pro-life group called the Center for Reproductive Rights took on a pro-choice group called the National Organization for Women, and won a court ruling blocking a New York clinic’s plan to offer abortion-care services.
The courts’ defeat for the abortion lobby came after years of lobbying. It started in 2007, when the Bush administration blocked a law requiring the reporting of the names of abortion providers in some states.
But that was just the first in a half-dozen attempts to stop the practice — which was first carried out as late as 1837 when a doctor in New York City started what would become one of the first illegal abortion clinics.
There have only been two Supreme Court cases against the abortion lobby. One of these — in 1997 — was the most important: a Bush administration decision that blocked a New York anti-abortion law.
That case, Zub