Keep the Iowa Standard Going!
Abortion advocates around the country are abusing the law as they challenge efforts to protect the health of women and their unborn children. We’ve gotten involved in one Supreme Court case in Louisiana, which passed a law requiring doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital.
We have filed an amicus curiae brief with the U.S. Supreme Court in the case Dr. Rebecca Gee v. June Medical Services, et al. (No. 18-1460), in which we oppose abortion providers’ efforts to overturn Louisiana’s Unsafe Abortion Protection Act. The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear arguments in the case on March 4, 2020.
In our brief, we argue that abortion providers petitioning the court to overturn the law lack a legally protectable interest in the outcome, otherwise known as “standing.”
We point out that plaintiffs generally may file a lawsuit only to protect their own rights, not the rights of others. In this litigation, the lower courts allowed third-party abortion interests to challenge the law on the theory they represent the interests of women. As our brief points out, expanding health and safety requirements for abortionists can be argued to be in the best interests of women:
Plaintiffs’ actual interests were made clear: unfettered access to perform abortions free of any regulation, ostensibly for financial gain. No individual women appeared as plaintiffs to the case. No women testified that they preferred not to have their abortion providers have admitting privileges or that they preferred abortion providers ignore the FDA-approved use of abortion medications. It defies logic to think women would not have an interest in these things, hence the conflict of interests between the litigant abortion providers and the third-party women right holders.
We urge the Supreme Court to rein in this abuse of the courts for political ends:
Petitioners’ claim of assumed third-party standing would effectively gut both the purpose and application of third-party standing. They would essentially be free to challenge any law that even indirectly touches on abortion simply because they fall into a category of favored litigants. This defeats the purpose of the political process, thwarts the will of the people, and contravenes the role of the Legislature. In every case where litigants like Petitioners have used assumed third-party standing, legislative hearings and debate, public hearings and debate, and political and election exercises have been for naught – completely neutralized by Petitioners’ desire to leapfrog the political process and usurp the courts.
It’s clear that the Supreme Court should put a stop to this misuse of the courts by interests that seek to overturn laws passed by the people’s representatives.