Americans United for Life is pleased to share our 2022 Q1 Life Litigation Report.
The only comprehensive listing of pro-life litigation publicly available, this Report tracks major Life cases across the country in federal and state courts. The goal of the report is to provide a useful resource in addition to AUL’s expertise on legal and policy issues affecting Life.
Here are some notable cases included in the Report:
Kentucky’s Dismemberment Abortion Prohibition
The Supreme Court ruled Kentucky’s attorney general has a statutory right to intervene in a lawsuit challenging Kentucky’s dismemberment abortion prohibition in Cameron v. EMW Women’s Surgical Center, P.S.C. The decision has positive implications for the defense of pro-life legislation, the terms of which may provide similar rights of intervention. AUL’s own model legislation, for example, frequently makes use of this type of legislative appointment to defend pro-life statutes.
Continued Debate On Texas Heartbeat Law
The Supreme Court of Texas heard oral argument on the certified questions regarding the Texas Heartbeat Act (S.B. 8). The justices questioned whether Texas licensing officials have any direct or indirect enforcement power under S.B. 8.
Massachusetts Considering Physician-Assisted Suicide
The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court is considering whether to decriminalize physician-assisted suicide for a competent, terminally ill, adult patient in Kligler v. Healey. The suicide proponents erroneously presume there is a medical standard of care for the lethal practice.
Additional Pro-Life Litigation Updates
In State of Ohio v. Becerra, the Sixth Circuit is considering whether a Health and Human Services administrative rule violates a statutory prohibition on using Title X funds for abortion. Title X’s abortion funding restrictions protect both medical professionals and taxpayers who conscientiously object to taking human life.
A case before the D.C. Circuit considers whether two pro-life demonstrators have plausibly alleged viewpoint discrimination by the District of Columbia. Frederick Douglass Foundation, Inc. v. District of Columbia. D.C. police had arrested the pro-life advocates for writing “Black Pre-Born Lives Matter” in washable chalk on the sidewalk outside a Planned Parenthood facility in 2020.
In Planned Parenthood South Atlantic v. Kerr, a Fourth Circuit panel affirmed a declaratory judgment and permanent injunction concerning South Carolina abortion funding restrictions for Medicaid. The state had terminated Planned Parenthood’s Medicaid provider agreement because the entity offers abortions. The decision once again sets up a clear circuit conflict over whether the Medicaid statute’s so-called “free choice of qualified provider” provision grants patients the right to sue states in federal court to reinstate Planned Parenthood affiliates that have been excluded from the program.
The Fourth Circuit affirmed the preliminary injunction of South Carolina’s heartbeat bill in Planned Parenthood South Atlantic v. Wilson. The State has filed a petition for rehearing en banc.
In Christian Medical & Dental Associations v. Bonta, pro-life medical professionals have filed a lawsuit alleging amendments to California’s End of Life Option Act have stripped away conscience protections for medical professionals that conscientiously object to enabling a suicide.
Suicide proponents initiated a lawsuit that challenges residency requirements under Oregon’s Death with Dignity Act in Gideonse v. Brown.