Thursday, February 25, 2016

Supreme Court Abortion Case Seen as a Turning Point for Clinics

By ERIK ECKHOLM, NYT
FEB. 24, 2016

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — About 20 women came to the abortion clinic here on a recent morning, hurrying past the shouting protesters as volunteer escorts held up umbrellas to shield their faces.

Inside the Reproductive Health Services clinic was Dr. Willie Parker, an Alabama native and one of a few physicians willing to face the professional shunning and the personal threats that come with being an abortion doctor in the conservative Deep South. He travels constantly among three cities, two in Alabama and one in Mississippi, to provide a service that no local doctors will.

Despite being an experienced, board-certified physician, Dr. Parker, 53, said he had been unable to get the admitting privileges to local hospitals that Alabama and Mississippi have tried to require of abortion doctors. Because federal courts have temporarily blocked those requirements here and across the state line in Mississippi, Dr. Parker continues to practice, and the clinics that rely on him are still open.

But the future of this clinic and many others, across the South and much of the country, could be at stake this spring as the Supreme Court takes up what both sides in the abortion debate describe as a landmark case. While the death of Justice Antonin Scalia has added new considerations, the court’s decision in the case, which involves a Texas law, could shape abortion rules for years to come.

(More here.)

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