“Assisted Suicide Laws and Their Danger to People with Disabilities”

That is the title of a recent report issued by the US National Council on Disabilities. Michael Cook’s recent essay describes the report. Cook also notes that the media have largely overlooked the report. Here is Cook’s last paragraph:

“It cannot be repeated too often: a civilization is measured by the quality of its care for the vulnerable and handicapped. This principle is being endangered by autonomy fundamentalists who believe that civilization should be measured by access to assisted suicide and euthanasia. Won’t anyone heed the anguished protests of the disabled?”

Federal Court Blocks Ohio Law Prohibiting Abortions due to Disability

Here is a link to a LifeNews story on the October 11, 2019 decision from the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit affirming a lower court decision that enjoined a Ohio law prohibiting abortion due to the disability of the unborn child. The decision was 2-1. The dissent,  by Judge Alice M. Batchelder, echoed many of the themes expressed in Justice Clarence Thomas’s opinion in Box v. Planned Parenthood. In that opinion, Justice Thomas sated that states have “a compelling interest in preventing abortion from becoming a tool of modern-day eugenics.”

Supreme Court to hear Louisiana Admitting Privileges Case

The US Supreme Court decided to review the June Medical Services case, which involves the constitutionality of Louisiana’s law that requires doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at local hospitals. In 2016, the Court invalidated a similar Texas law in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt. In September 2018, in June Medical Services, the Fifth Circuit distinguished Whole Woman’s Health and upheld Louisiana’s admitting privileges law. On February 7, 2019, the US Supreme Court stayed the Fifth Circuit’s ruling. The grant of the stay was by a 5-4 vote.

Supporters of abortion rights were hoping that the Court would summarily reverse the Fifth Circuit but the Court has now decided to hear oral arguments in the case. The decision to hear the case sets the stage for what could be a major ruling. The Court could of course decide to overrule Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey. Most observers anticipate though that the Court will uphold the Louisiana law in a narrow ruling. The Court might overrule its 2016 decision in Whole Woman’s Health or simply distinguish the Louisiana case on its facts, which is what the Fifth Circuit did.  Either approach would afford states more of an opportunity to restrict abortion.

federal judge holds Georgia’s heartbeat law unconstitutional

Here is a link to an October 1, 2019 decision by a federal judge in Georgia invalidating Georgia’s heartbeat law. This ruling is consistent with other decisions from around the country invalidating heartbeat laws, which prohibit abortion after an unborn baby’s heartbeat is detectable.

federal judge upholds important provisions of Virginia’s abortion statute

Here is a link to a Lifenews story on a September 30, 2019 decision by United States District Judge Henry Hudson of the Eastern District of Virginia. Judge Hudson upheld the portions of the law that require an ultrasound, that impose a 24-hour waiting period, and that require that physicians perform abortions. The court also partially upheld the requirement that abortions be performed in hospitals.

“Human Embryos are Human Beings: a Scientific and Philosophical Case”

Here is a link to Patrick Lee’s essay discussing the book by Samuel and Maureen Condic. Here is a brief summary from Lee’s essay.

In Human Embryos, Human Beings, A Scientific and Philosophical Approach philosopher Samuel Condic and Neurobiologist Maureen Condic advance a careful and detailed case for the proposition that a human being comes to be at fertilization, and refute the main arguments to the contrary. Along the way they clarify the concepts of substance, substantial form, soul, organism, and final and formal causality.