This week, thousands of pro-life advocates marched in Washington D.C. – and in marches across the country. These demonstrations mark the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision which legalized abortion in the United States.
Since that time, over 60 million unborn children have lost their lives.
Right now, there are several legal cases that could help protect the lives of children in the womb. If you’re a pro-life advocate, you should know about these eight ongoing cases. Read about each case and the important questions they will address below.
1. Should abortionists be exempt from certain standards of care other doctors must comply with?
The U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments for this case on March 4. This case could decide whether abortion providers should be exempt from a standard of care that applies to doctors at all ambulatory surgical centers. Recently, dozens of current, former, and incoming Louisiana legislators filed a friend-of-the-court brief urging the Supreme Court to uphold the challenged Louisiana law. Find out more here.
2. Should states be able to ensure that abortion providers tell women the critical facts ?
North Dakota passed an informed consent law to make sure that women considering abortion are informed that the chemical abortion process may be reversible. The law also informs women that abortion terminates “the life of a whole, separate, unique, living human being.” But in 2019, the American Medical Association sued to overturn this informed consent law. ADF client Heartbeat International, which operates the national Abortion Pill Reversal Network and has two affiliated pregnancy centers in North Dakota, intervened in this case to help defend this critical law.
3. Should the government be able to protect unborn children from fatal discrimination?
Sadly, many children are aborted when tests show that they have Down syndrome. To combat this fatal discrimination, the state of Missouri passed a law prohibiting the killing of unborn children simply because they have Down syndrome. But Planned Parenthood is challenging that law. ADF attorneys filed a friend-of-the-court brief asking the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit to uphold Missouri’s law.
4. Should the free speech of pro-life advocates be protected?
In 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down Massachusetts censorship zones around abortion clinics, which had been preventing pro-life sidewalk counselors from helping women outside abortion facilities. Over five years later, the city of Pittsburgh still has similar so-called “buffer zones” in place. ADF is continuing to challenge this unconstitutional law in court.
5. Should pro-life pregnancy centers be free to hire staff that share their life-affirming views?
The state of New York recently enacted a law that requires pro-life organizations and groups to hire staff members who disagree with—or even violate—the mission of the organization. This means that pro-life pregnancy centers like CompassCare might be forced to hire people who disagree with their pro-life principles. The consequences would be staggering—so CompassCare is challenging the law in court.
6. Should churches in Washington be forced to pay for abortions through their health insurance plans?
A law in the state of Washington requires employers that provide insurance coverage for maternity care to also provide elective abortions through their health insurance plans—there are no exceptions for churches. Cedar Park Assembly of God in Kirkland, Washington, works hard to live out its pro-life mission. Paying for abortions would be unthinkable. So, Cedar Park is challenging Washington’s law.
7. Should churches in California be forced to pay for abortions through their health insurance plans?
In 2014, a state agency in California reinterpreted state law to require that churches cover elective abortions in their health care plans. Four California churches, including Skyline Church and Foothill Church, have challenged the law and are waiting for a decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
8. Should pregnancy centers be forced to speak misleading messages they disagree with?
In NIFLA v. Becerra, the Supreme Court ruled that state governments could not force pro-life pregnancy centers to speak messages with which they disagree. But now, there is a similar ordinance in Hartford, Connecticut. The law requires pregnancy centers like Caring Families Pregnancy Services to speak misleading messages that interfere with their ability to serve women in need. Caring Families is challenging Hartford’s ordinance in court.
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