Skip to comments.Casey at Twenty: Pro-Life Progress Despite a Judicial Setback
Posted on 07/18/2012 8:55:58 AM PDT by rhema
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Despite discouraging political setbacks, the Casey decision did contain silver linings for pro-life law and strategy. Even though the Supreme Court did not overturn Roe v. Wade, it abandoned the trimester framework instituted in Roe and instead adopted a doctrine of undue burden. This allowed for state regulation of abortion so long as the regulation did not pose an undue burden to the woman seeking an abortion. As a result, the Casey decision upheld most of the provisions included in Pennsylvanias Abortion Control Act including the parental consent law, the reporting requirements, the waiting period, and the informed consent law. Only the spousal notification requirement was struck down.
The constitutional protection Casey granted these pieces of legislation, coupled with pro-life gains in numerous state legislatures, has led to a substantial increase in the number of state level pro-life laws. Americans United for Life reports that since 1992, the number of states with parental involvement laws has increased from 20 to 38. The number of states with informed consent laws has increased from 18 to 33. Finally, the number of states with abortion clinic regulations increased from 21 to 30. More importantly, after Casey, many states strengthened existing pro-life laws. In particular, several states improved their informed consent laws by including more information about health risks, fetal development, and sources of support for single mothers.
In recent years, pro-lifers have pursued some different legislative strategies. For instance, pro-lifers have made good use of the increased scrutiny that Planned Parenthood is receiving. Audits of Planned Parenthood affiliates in several states demonstrate a consistent pattern of overbilling and abuse involving Medicaid funds. Furthermore, LiveAction videos have shown that Planned Parenthood employees are unwilling to enforce parental-involvement laws and unwilling to report statutory rape, but willing
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