What’s ahead for the U.S. Supreme Court this year for reproductive health

Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health, the U.S. Supreme Court case on Mississippi’s 15-week gestational ban, is not the only reproductive healthcare case that the high court could hear this year, according to Supreme Court watchers. The date for Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health has not been set yet but Ellie Rushforth, an attorney for the […]

What’s ahead for the U.S. Supreme Court this year for reproductive health

Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health, the U.S. Supreme Court case on Mississippi’s 15-week gestational ban, is not the only reproductive healthcare case that the high court could hear this year, according to Supreme Court watchers.

The date for Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health has not been set yet but Ellie Rushforth, an attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico, said the court usually doesn’t deliver its opinion on abortion cases until June or July.

“Then begins an election,” Rushforth said, indicating the 2022 mid-term races between Republicans and Democrats will begin in earnest.

Rushforth said the court will not likely hear oral arguments on Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health until December at the earliest.

Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health has the potential to upend Roe v. Wade. The sole abortion clinic in the state of Mississippi challenged the state’s 2018 law to ban abortion at 15 weeks. Jackson Women’s Health offers abortion only up to 16 weeks of gestation.

Related: The future of reproductive healthcare in NM if Roe v. Wade is overturned

In July the state asked the court to consider overturning Roe v. Wade when deciding Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health.

Another case that will be heard in October, Cameron v. EMW Women’s Surgical Center, P.S.C., which Rushforth called “unique,” is one where the Attorney General of Kentucky, Republican Daniel Cameron, asked the high court to consider allowing him to relitigate an abortion case decision already decided by the lower court. The Kentucky Department of Health, under Democrat Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear, did not appeal the lower court’s decision in 2019. The lower court struck down the Kentucky law that banned most surgical abortions, known as Dilation and Evacuation or D and E.

Rushforth said that the time frame can depend on the provider, but roughly that affectively bans abortions after 15 weeks of gestation.

Cameron has appealed to the Supreme Court to allow him to relitigate the case. The court will hear oral arguments on Cameron v. EMW Women’s Surgical Center, P.S.C., on October 12.

Additional Supreme Court cases the nine justices are considering include one – Dignity Health v. Minton – that involves a transgender man who sought a hysterectomy in California but was denied care by Dignity Health, the largest hospital in that state, Rushforth said.

While Dignity Health has not established itself in New Mexico, it is the fifth largest health care system in the U.S. It has faith-based affiliations and is asking the Supreme Court to consider whether the U.S. First Amendment bars a California law that prohibits the hospital from discriminating against patients.

The Supreme Court has tended to “give wide latitude” to religious organizations in suits that involve religious freedom, Rushforth said.

“I’m really watching this one closely to see if the court decides to give health care providers and employers license to discriminate on reproductive health needs,” Rushforth said.

The other reproductive cases the court could consider during the upcoming term include one that would ban abortion in Missouri at 8, 14, 18 and 20 weeks of gestation.

Rushforth called it a “cascading abortion ban.” The case also involves banning abortion if the fetus tests positive for Down syndrome. This case is also a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade, Rushforth said.

Another ban based on a Down syndrome diagnosis that the court could also take up this year is Rutledge v. Little Rock Family Planning Services. In this case the state of Arkansas is asking the court whether the U.S. 14th Amendment could prohibit abortion if the pregnant person receives a Down syndrome diagnosis for the fetus.

Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany v. Lacewell is another reproductive healthcare case the court could choose to hear this year. That case involves New York insurance laws and whether faith-based organizations should be allowed to opt out of having to cover abortion for employees through insurance coverage. This case is also asking if the First Amendment might protect faith-based employers from laws prohibiting discrimination, arguing that the New York law interferes with faith-based organizations’ autonomy.

Another reproductive health care case the Supreme Court could take up is Box v. Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky Inc. This is another case that the court hasn’t announced it will hear oral arguments on but the court is considering it.

The case is a “forced parental notification,” case where the state gets to decide if it’s in the patient’s best interest to require the clinic to notify the patient’s parents that the patient is seeking an abortion, Rushforth said.

“Which is so dangerous for so many reasons. The least of which is the state is inserting itself into family dynamics and they can’t legislate family dynamics,” she said.

We're ad free

That means that we rely on support from readers like you. Help us keep reporting on the most important New Mexico Stories by donating today.

Related

Both Republicans and Democrats skeptical of guv’s proposals for special session

Both Republicans and Democrats skeptical of guv’s proposals for special session

A representative from Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s office outlined on Thursday the bills the governor’s office will back during the upcoming special session, but…
Senators throw support to embattled Ivey-Soto

Senators throw support to embattled Ivey-Soto

By Justin Horwath, New Mexico In Dept Sen. Daniel Ivey-Soto is running for a fourth term despite the state Democratic Party’s decision to censure…
AG announces legislative priorities for upcoming special session

AG announces legislative priorities for upcoming special session

Attorney General Raúl Torrez announced on Thursday his legislative priorities for July’s special legislative session, including the creation of a crime victim’s unit to…
LANL plans to release highly radioactive tritium to prevent explosions. Will it just release danger in the air?

LANL plans to release highly radioactive tritium to prevent explosions. Will it just release danger in the air?

By Alicia Inez Guzmán, Searchlight New Mexico Last fall, the international community rose up in defense of the Pacific Ocean. Seafood and salt purveyors,…
Program administrator outlines how waitlisted community solar projects will be selected

Program administrator outlines how waitlisted community solar projects will be selected

The program administrator for New Mexico’s community solar program released guidance Thursday for waitlisted projects. The new guidelines follow a petition from several developers…
Community organizations propose providing naturalized immigrants with public lands passes

Community organizations propose providing naturalized immigrants with public lands passes

A group of advocates are asking the federal government to give naturalized citizens a one-year pass to the national parks. President Joe Biden’s signing…
Stansbury outlines funding secured for early childhood and youth services programs

Stansbury outlines funding secured for early childhood and youth services programs

U.S. Rep. Melanie Stansbury secured $8.3 million for childhood development and youth services in the 1st congressional district through federal community project funding. Stansbury,…
Amid new graduation requirements, what do high schoolers want to learn?

Amid new graduation requirements, what do high schoolers want to learn?

By Margaret O’Hara, The Santa Fe New Mexican The main things that bring Brayan Chavez to school every day: Seeing, talking to and engaging with…
Special ed teachers hope lawmakers OK pay raises, admin changes

Special ed teachers hope lawmakers OK pay raises, admin changes

By Margaret O’Hara, The Santa Fe New Mexican Brittany Behenna Griffith has a laundry list of adjectives to describe the ideal special education teacher:…
Heinrich questions FDA leadership on baby formula safety, mifepristone

Heinrich questions FDA leadership on baby formula safety, mifepristone

U.S. Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Dr. Robert Califf answered questions about the safety of human milk formula and mifepristone on Wednesday. Sen. Martin…
Health workers fear it’s profits before protection as CDC revisits airborne transmission

Health workers fear it’s profits before protection as CDC revisits airborne transmission

Amy Maxmen, KFF Health News Four years after hospitals in New York City overflowed with covid-19 patients, emergency physician Sonya Stokes remains shaken by…
Lujan Grisham, Biden admin announce $10 million in federal funds for tribes, pueblos

Lujan Grisham, Biden admin announce $10 million in federal funds for tribes, pueblos

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham announced Friday $10 million in funding from the federal American Rescue Plan Act was awarded to six tribal nations and…
Abortion medication access remains after Supreme Court ruling

Abortion medication access remains after Supreme Court ruling

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled against the Texas-based Christian group trying to restrict access to abortion medication on Thursday. The case, FDA v. the…
How abortion care has changed since Dobbs 

How abortion care has changed since Dobbs 

In the month of March 2024 alone, 1,650 clinician-provided abortions took place in New Mexico, according to the reproductive research organization, the Guttmacher Institute.…
Many Democrats endorsed by reproductive rights group won primaries

Many Democrats endorsed by reproductive rights group won primaries

With nearly 53 percent of the precincts reporting as of 11 p.m. Tuesday, most of the legislative candidates endorsed by Planned Parenthood Votes New…
Abortion medication access remains after Supreme Court ruling

Abortion medication access remains after Supreme Court ruling

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled against the Texas-based Christian group trying to restrict access to abortion medication on Thursday. The case, FDA v. the…
How abortion care has changed since Dobbs 

How abortion care has changed since Dobbs 

In the month of March 2024 alone, 1,650 clinician-provided abortions took place in New Mexico, according to the reproductive research organization, the Guttmacher Institute.…
Senate Republicans block bill to ensure access to contraception

Senate Republicans block bill to ensure access to contraception

Senate Republicans blocked an effort to pass a bill to protect access to contraception this week. U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich and Ben Ray Luján,…
Democrats announce spending on CD2 race

Democrats announce spending on CD2 race

The Democratic National Committee announced on Monday that it will spend $70,000 for organizing staff to aid U.S. Rep. Gabe Vasquez, the Democrat trying…
Handful of legislators lose primaries

Handful of legislators lose primaries

Every legislative seat is up for grabs in 2024, which means all incumbents who sought reelection had to face the voters. Most did not…
Many Democrats endorsed by reproductive rights group won primaries

Many Democrats endorsed by reproductive rights group won primaries

With nearly 53 percent of the precincts reporting as of 11 p.m. Tuesday, most of the legislative candidates endorsed by Planned Parenthood Votes New…
Abortion medication access remains after Supreme Court ruling

Abortion medication access remains after Supreme Court ruling

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled against the Texas-based Christian group trying to restrict access to abortion medication on Thursday. The case, FDA v. the…
How abortion care has changed since Dobbs 

How abortion care has changed since Dobbs 

In the month of March 2024 alone, 1,650 clinician-provided abortions took place in New Mexico, according to the reproductive research organization, the Guttmacher Institute.…
LANL plans to release highly radioactive tritium to prevent explosions. Will it just release danger in the air?

LANL plans to release highly radioactive tritium to prevent explosions. Will it just release danger in the air?

By Alicia Inez Guzmán, Searchlight New Mexico Last fall, the international community rose up in defense of the Pacific Ocean. Seafood and salt purveyors,…

GET INVOLVED

© 2023 New Mexico Political Report