SCOTUS abortion ruling signals unstable future for Roe

The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld a religiously motivated law signed by former Indiana Gov. Mike Pence requiring the burial or cremation of fetal remains following abortion. In the same decision, SCOTUS notably evaded ruling on another strict component of the same law that banned abortions sought on the basis of the sex, race or abnormality of the fetus.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation condemns these orchestrated attacks on safe and legal abortion. These restrictions, like the numerous other anti-choice laws that have arisen in states across the country, are intended to impose unnecessary hurdles, both on patients and the doctors who provide abortion. The SCOTUS decision is part of a campaign to chip away at legal protection of abortion access until the procedure is effectively outlawed.

The unsigned decision indicating the court’s decision not to review the state ban on sex- and disability-selective abortion cases “expresses no view on the merits” of the issue.” The decision noted that the court would wait until further appellate courts rule on similar laws before considering whether to hear a case. In the meantime, the decision by the appeals court invalidating the selective abortion ban stands.

Only Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor made known that they would have denied review of both issues in the case.

Meanwhile, in Missouri, the state is refusing to renew the license of its last remaining clinic to provide abortion services. Come this weekend, Missouri could be the first state without an abortion clinic since Roe v. Wade was decided in 1973.

One in four women will have an abortion in her lifetime and more than 70 percent of women oppose the overturning of Roe v. Wade. The out-of-touch legislative opposition to abortion access is peddled by the Religious Right. Outlawing and restricting abortion access doesn’t decrease the number of abortions, it decreases the number of safe abortions. Americans should not stand by as women’s health is compromised in the name of a god who has no place in our secular laws and institutions.

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