This month, Concerned Women for America (CWA) filed an important amicus (friend of the court) brief in June Medical Services, LLC v. Gee at the United States Supreme Court standing up for the millions of pro-life women around the country who want to make sure the Justices know that the abortion industry does not speak for them.
Believe it or not, that is often what the abortion industry claims to do, with the blessing of the Court. Big Abortion has created a whole legal industry out of challenging any and all laws that seek to protect women by regulating the abortion procedure to make it safer for women. As predicted by Justice Powell in Singleton v. Wulff (428 U.S. 106, 119 (1976)), in abortion cases, the Court has “invit[ed] litigation by those who perhaps have the least legitimate ground for seeking to assert the rights of third parties”— in this case, women.
The same abortionists who spend millions of dollars fighting against a simple requirement to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals so they can properly follow up with patients that experience complications during an abortion, claim before the courts to have a relationship with patients close enough to justify them representing women in court.
CWA’s brief highlights the research of Prof. Teresa Collett, J.D., the Director of the University of Saint Thomas Pro-Life Center, which surveys all cases since Roe involving federal challenges to abortion laws. The research reveals that “women have consistently challenged abortion-related laws related to public funding and laws requiring parental, spousal, or judicial consent prior to performance of an abortion while showing little or no appetite for attacking laws aimed at providing women with more information on abortion and its alternatives; safer, cleaner abortion facilities; and ethical, competent providers.”
“In the three years between 1973, when Roe v. Wade was decided, and 1976, when Singleton v. Wulff was decided, women were more likely than doctors, hospitals, or clinics to file challenges to abortion-related laws… Since 1976, [when the Court opened the door for abortionists to represent women’s interests,] there have been sixteen years in which there were no cases filed by women alone, and thirteen years in which they have brought only one” (citations omitted).
“From 1973 to 2019, women or girls have filed an annual average of 2.1 cases per year. In contrast, providers have filed an average of 9.1 cases per year; women and providers have joined in the same lawsuit in only 1.6 cases per year.”
“[T]here are almost no cases filed by women alone challenging conscience rights, informed consent requirements, fetal disposition laws, and provider regulations generally. This pattern suggests that women either generally support or at least do not oppose laws like the one before this Court today that are aimed at providing them with more information, safer, cleaner facilities, and more skilled providers” (citation omitted).
Given this research, the Court should reexamine its “third party standing” standards when it comes to abortion cases. It is just another area where, as Justice Anthony Kennedy candidly acknowledged, the “longstanding maxim[s] of statutory interpretation ha[ve], in the past, fallen by the wayside when the Court confronted a statute regulating abortion.” Third party standing should be presumptively denied in such cases, requiring abortion providers to prove their close relationship with the women they seek to represent in order to stand before the Court asserting women’s interests.
Oral arguments for the case have been set for 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, March 4. Stay tuned for more information on our activities surrounding the arguments. As always, I will be at the Court to bring you an up-to-date report.