You know how that Title X news has been going around for like, over a year now and is JUST NOW going into effect and fucking over a bunch of clinics and, most importantly, a bunch of patients who desperately need Title X funding? That’s kinda how this all works: the terrible thing passes… sits in limbo in the courts for a while, and then SOMETHING HAPPENS. And the waiting game is truly scary. I mean, the new Title X rule is STILL going to court — it’s just allowed to go into effect in the meantime. So today we thought it’d be good (since it’s the doldrums of August) to go over THE TERRIBLE anti-abortion laws that are still in court limbo or that have slowly gone away or, you know, have continued to defy their own unconstitutionality and prospered. A brief list: 

  • Ohio’s Supreme Court just declined to hear a case about admitting privileges which could cause a clinic to close. In case you’re wondering, yes we DID already win a case against these kind of laws in the REAL Supreme Court. 
  • Ohio’s unconstitutional 6-week ban was temporarily blocked from taking effect after the ACLU challenged it and is currently awaiting trial.
  • Same with Georgia’s 6-week ban. (The state just asked the court to reconsider the preliminary injunction.)
  • Alabama’s ridiculously dangerous near-total ban (with no exceptions for rape or incest) including its 99-year potential prison sentence for doctors who provide an abortion is expected — even by its supporters — to be blocked by preliminary injunction before it’s scheduled to take effect. But it’s still not OFFICIALLY cancelled (like Dancing with the Stars). 
  • Kentucky’s double lawsuit — another 6-week ban and the so-called “reason ban” (prohibiting abortions because of a fetal diagnosis or race, sex, etc.) — has also been temporarily blocked by the ACLU and is currently awaiting trial. 
  • Kentucky’s OTHER lawsuit with the ACLU is about an unnecessary “transfer agreement” law, whose only purpose is to force the state’s LAST CLINIC to close on a technicality. The case is currently in appeals at the Sixth Circuit.
  • Arkansas has THREE anti-abortion laws that are currently blocked because of an ACLU lawsuit: an 18-week ban, another “reason ban,” and a restriction on which doctors can perform abortions. The case is awaiting trial.
  • Tennessee’s obstructive and useless 48-hour waiting period law is FINALLY heading to trial, a full 4 YEARS after the ACLU filed a lawsuit. Now that it’s been in effect and inconveniencing patients for years, lawmakers are trying to lock it in place as they work on that obnoxious total ban we talked about last week.
  • Louisiana has a lawsuit currently being argued at the Fifth Circuit about whether networks of TRAP laws (like ones that require certain hallway widths — aka, the ones that don’t do anything but try to close down clinics) should be considered individually or as a whole to determine whether they’re an “undue burden.” 
  • Also, Whole Woman’s Health in South Bend is allowed to stay open for… another day at least. Yes, this CLINIC SAGA is… still happening. 

And so we stay in the courts, even though we’d rather be at the beach or… you know, working at a clinic to provide HEALTHCARE. But nope — we’re just pushing a bunch of papers, fighting the same battles over and over again! 

Happy August!