Courts Wait for SCOTUS Before Ruling on State Pro-Life Law

The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals won’t decide the fate of a group of pro-life laws from Arkansas until after the U.S. Supreme issues what could be a landmark decision this summer, according to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

In 2017 the Arkansas Legislature passed bills:

  • Prohibiting dismemberment abortion
  • Prohibiting abortions performed solely because of the baby’s sex
  • Requiring reporting of abortions performed on young girls
  • Requiring aborted babies to be respectfully buried or cremated rather than incinerated or sold to research companies

Pro-abortion groups sued the state to have these laws overturned.

You can read a breakdown of the legal arguments about these laws here.

After being tied up in court for nearly three years, the Eighth Circuit has indicated it will not rule on Arkansas’ pro-life laws until after the U.S. Supreme Court issues a decision in June Medical Services v. Russo.

The June Medical Services case has to do with abortion legislation in Louisiana.

Many believe the court’s decision in the case may chip away at past abortion rulings like Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, Planned Parenthood v. Casey, and even Roe v. Wade.

The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the case earlier this month, and will issue an opinion sometime this spring or summer.

If the court upholds Louisiana’s pro-life laws, then Arkansas’ pro-life laws should stand.

If the court strikes down Louisiana’s pro-life laws, Arkansas’ laws could still be upheld, but the courts may not be as favorable to them.

Radical Pro-Abortion Group Calls Pro-Life Prayer Meetings a “Public Health Emergency”

On Friday the pro-abortion group Reproaction issued a statement calling for 40 Days for Life to stop holding prayer vigils outside abortion facilities, saying,

Anti-abortion harassment never has been and never will be okay. Shaming and threatening abortion patients, providers, and the communities clogs up our sidewalks with bullying and hate speech, and inspires anti-abortion terrorists to escalate violence.

The group went on to criticize 40 Days for Life for continuing to meet for prayer while the coronavirus outbreak continues.

In another statement, Reproaction went so far as to call 40 Days for Life vigils a “public health emergency” and demanded that the group cancel its prayer campaign.

The statements overlook a couple of crucial facts:

First, 40 Days for Life prayer vigils don’t shame, threaten, or bully anybody.

These are peaceful prayer vigils where pro-lifers simply gather to pray that abortion will end.

Second, 40 Days for Life has asked volunteers to practice social distancing and follow CDC guidelines when gathering for prayer meetings.

In a YouTube video, 40 Days for Life director Shawn Carney recently told volunteers, “Be safe, be healthy, keep your distance, use your hand sanitizer, and pray for an end to abortion.”

It’s worth pointing out that Reproaction teaches women to perform drug-induced abortions at home without the oversight of a physician.

Even many abortionists know that’s a bad idea.

40 Days for Life reports that at least 228 babies have been saved from abortion since February 26! That’s really good news.

You can find out more about 40 Days for Life in Arkansas by going to

Count the Cost of Denying Patients Assisted Suicide: Bioethicist

For more than 20 years Family Council has opposed efforts to legalize assisted suicide in Arkansas.

Last year we helped defeat a proposal to let doctors prescribe lethal drugs to patients.

One of the points we have made time and again is that patients, doctors, and hospitals may feel financial pressure to opt for assisted suicide, if it is legalized.

Last year a Canadian man with ALS made headlines when he chose to take his own life under the country’s assisted suicide and euthanasia laws after the government chose not to provide him with 24-hour home healthcare services due to cost.

In parts of the U.S. where physician-assisted suicide is legal, insurance companies have refused to pay for patients’ medical care, but have offered to cover assisted-suicide drugs.

Proponents of assisted suicide generally dismiss these concerns.

However, last week a bioethicist and a European professor published an article in which they actually argued that assisted suicide makes sense economically.

Writing in the journal Clinical Ethics, bioethicist Dr. David Shaw and Professor Alec Morton make three points:

  • Assisted suicide lets patients avoid suffering
  • The resources that would be used helping them could be used to help other patients instead
  • Doctors may be able to harvest organs from patients who opt for assisted suicide

The authors even go so far as to write,

For example, a patient who is in great pain because of cancer with a life expectancy of around two years will continue to require pain medication and support from clinical staff and also carers for those two years. For each such patient, legalising assisted dying would avoid this waste of resources.

There is so much wrong with these arguments that it is difficult to know where to begin.

For starters, we know from experience in other states that assisted suicide doesn’t actually help patients avoid suffering.

In fact, most people who inquire about assisted suicide generally are not concerned about pain or suffering.

Many of them are lonely and feel like they are losing control over their lives because of their illness. They need counseling — not a prescription for lethal drugs.

Second, you cannot place a dollar value on human life — but that is exactly where this type of thinking leads.

Being pro-life means believing human life is sacred from conception until natural death.

Just like abortion, euthanasia and assisted-suicide are murder, and they violate the sanctity of human life.