U.S. 6th Circuit Court: No Right To Perform Abortions

     Since Roe v. Wade, the courts have generally recognized a woman’s right to have an abortion as a Constitutional matter, and will continue to due so until such time as the Supreme Court rectifies their previous rulings. However, this is in terms of a negative right whereby the government can stop the exercise of that right or otherwise force or cajole someone to give it up; it is not a positive right whereby the government must provide it, either directly or indirectly.

     The 6th Cirbuit Court of appeals ruled, en banc, that Planned Parenthood did not have a right to receive funding for abortion or if they provided or even advocated for abortion; in other words, there is no right to perform abortions. From the ruling:

“Today’s plaintiffs do not have a Fourteenth Amendment right to perform abortions. The Supreme Court has never identified a freestanding right to perform abortions. To the contrary, it has indicated that there is no such thing. ‘Whatever constitutional status the doctor-patient relation may have as a general matter,’ the Court has explained, ‘in the present context it is derivative of the woman’s position. The doctor-patient relation does not underlie or override the two more general rights under which the abortion right is justified: the right to make family decisions and the right to physical autonomy. On its own, the doctor-patient relation here is entitled to the same solicitude it receives in other contexts.’ Casey, 505 U.S. at 884 (plurality) (emphasis added).”

     The ruling is perhaps on the narrow side in that this is only addressing Planned Parenthood’s (and other’s) non-existent Constitutional right to receive funding while providing abortions. Fears, then, that this could affect enumerated rights like the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, wouldn’t have a strong foundation.

“Even aside from the question whether gun stores have Second Amendment rights, compare Teixeira, 873 F.3d at 681–90, with id. at 698–99 (Bea, J., dissenting), the third application confirms that all punitive or irrational licensing requirements run the risk of violating a store’s constitutional rights, whether the store sells guns or not. But it is hardly punitive or irrational for a State to subsidize some activities and not others. The unconstitutional-conditions doctrine no more elevates non-constitutional claims into constitutional ones than it insulates protected rights from protection.”

     Ruling can be read here, or below:

U.S. 6th Circuit Court No R… by on Scribd

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