Right-to-life News Coming Up
June 30, 2014
First, the Supreme Court is expected to issue its ruling today on Burwell vs. Hobby Lobby, a case in which business owners (apparently “94 related cases involving 300 plaintiffs representing nearly half the states”) appeal to the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA, pronounced “riff-ra”) against the Obamacare HHS mandate that they provide contraceptives to their employees for free.
- If you read only one thing to get a sense of the case, this National Review editorial sums it up.
- National Review Online’s Ed Whelan explains the legal arguments.
- Also at National Review Online, Carrie Severino interprets the justices’ behavior during oral argument back in march. “Defenders of religious liberty have much to be optimistic about in today’s arguments, but the outcome is far from clear.”
- At the Volokh Conspiracy, Professor Michael McConnell discusses the legal arguments and ultimately predicts that the mandate will be held to violate religious liberty and therefore overturned.
Second, here in Cincinnati, the fate of one particular abortion clinic is at stake in a local court case. From Sacred Heart Radio (to which hat tip for both stories):
Area pro-life groups are calling for members to assemble outside the Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas Monday, when a judge will consider late-term abortionist Martin Haskell’s appeal against the Ohio Department of Health.
Haskell, who helped pioneer the now-outlawed “partial birth” abortion technique in which a baby close to term is delivered normally and killed while in the mother’s birth canal, operates two area abortion clinics he calls “Women’s Med Centers.” He also operates a third clinic in Indiana.
. . .
In January, the Ohio Department of Health denied a license renewal to Haskell’s Sharonville clinic, ordering that it close. . . .
When the order came, former Sharonville Mayor Virgil Lovitt said that the closure was long overdue because the clinic had failed to meet state health codes — and was the only ambulatory surgical facility in Sharonville to do so. “Putting the purpose of the clinic aside,” he told The Catholic Beat, “it is a matter of patient care. A woman who goes to that facility deserves the same standard of care when it comes to infection control, building and fire codes, anesthesia control, and everything else that she would expect when having knee surgery or other outpatient surgery.”
Despite the DOH’s order, the clinic never closed. Haskell filed an appeal, arguing that his clinic provided necessary health care not available anywhere else, and was allowed to remain open while the case was pending.
On Monday, Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas Magistrate Michael Bachman will hear arguments from both sides at the Main Street (Cincinnati) courthouse.
A positive, pro-life presence
Area pro-life group are asking members and sympathizers to provide a pro-life presence outside the courthouse from 9:30 am – 11 am.
“Our pro-life presence is to emphasize that women deserve common sense medical safety standards, and abortion is not healthcare,” says notice emailed to pro-life group members.