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Time for Supreme Court to step up

November 9, 2013
The Herald-Star

From regulations on abortion clinics to regulations on the abortion pill, the nation has descended into a patchwork of state laws that need clarification.

It's not coming through the lower courts. States continue to pass regulations that then are challenged, delayed, such as Iowa's abortion pill distribution regulation, or approved and then overturned and then approved again through the appeals process, such as the limits on abortion clinics in Texas.

Absent an abortion ban, which is prevented by Supreme Court case law, states are passing rules that make abortion legal with difficulties, including limits on where clinics may be, who may staff them, and certification of the facilities or physicians who are required to have hospital privileges, often at distant hospitals.

It is high past time for the court system to stop shirking the issue, to stop finding the hitches and buttons in the laws that allow decisions to be made on the abortion issue without making a decision on the abortion issue.

When the Supreme Court ruled in Roe v. Wade in 1972, in effect taking abortion out of the hands of back-alley providers and turning it into a medical procedure, the justices made a ruling based on law. They didn't split the issue, they didn't dodge what the result would be. They ruled.

What the courts have been doing since the people have started electing representatives who vote their consitituents' views on abortion is to patchwork and piecemeal the decisions.

It is time to once again have the highest court in the land take a case and tackle the issue head on: Is the United States a nation where abortion is the law of the land or not?

Until that happens, confusion will continue to reign.

 
 

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