South Carolina is one of several Republican-leaning states that have sought to eliminate Medicaid funding for abortion providers in recent years. Two years ago, the Supreme Court turned away challenges to similar bans in Louisiana and Kansas. Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Brett Kavanaugh joined with the court’s four liberal justices at the time to reject those cases.

Last week, a shorthanded Supreme Court rejected the Trump administration’s request to immediately reimpose restrictions on abortion medication. A federal judge’s ruling this summer temporarily lifted the restrictions, making it easier for women to obtain the pills by mail during the coronavirus pandemic. The justices said a challenge to that ruling can continue in lower court.

Planned Parenthood in a statement hailed the Supreme Court’s decision to turn down the South Carolina case but said it wouldn’t end the risk to abortion rights.

“The fact that the court will not hear this case does not alter the frightening reality of what could come if Judge Amy Coney Barrett is confirmed to the high court,” said Helene Krasnoff, the group’s vice president of public policy litigation and law. “There are at least 24 cases about access to reproductive health care that are one step away from the Supreme Court.”

Barrett during Tuesday’s confirmation hearing repeatedly declined to share her views on abortion rights, despite her record of public comments opposing abortion. She also refused to answer whether she agreed with her late mentor, Justice Antonin Scalia, that Roe v. Wade was wrongly decided.

“I don’t have any agenda,” she testified to the Senate Judiciary Committee. “I have an agenda to stick to the rule of law and decide cases as they come.”

Democratic senators, frustrated by Barrett’s answers, noted that Trump has promised to only nominate judges committed to overturning Roe, the 1973 decision that legalized abortion nationwide, and that anti-abortion groups are supporting her because they’re confident she would roll back access to the procedure.

“It’s distressing not to get a straight answer,” replied Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), the top Democrat on the committee.

Source link