For the third time in the last six months, an Obama-appointed federal judge has struck down a state law restricting abortions, this time in the state of Mississippi.
Less than 24 hours after its enactment, U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves blocked the Mississippi law banning abortion after 15 weeks’ gestation, after the Jackson Women’s Health Organization, an abortion clinic, sued the state, contending that the law is unconstitutional because it bans abortion before a fetus can survive outside the womb.
“The Supreme Court says every woman has a constitutional right to ‘personal privacy’ regarding her body,” Reeves wrote in his decision. “That right protects her choice ‘to have an abortion before viability.’ States cannot ‘prohibit any woman from making the ultimate decision’ to do so.”
Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant signed the House bill 1510 into law on Monday and Judge Reeves heard arguments the following day, upon which he granted the clinic’s request for a temporary restraining order.
The law, also known as the Gestational Age Act, noted that the United States is one of only seven nations in the world that permit elective abortion-on-demand after the twentieth week of gestation.
“In fact, fully seventy-five percent (75%) of all nations do not permit abortion after twelve (12) weeks’ gestation, except (in most instances) to save the life and to preserve the physical health of the mother,” the bill states.
A pattern has emerged in which Obama-appointed judges consistently strike down democratically enacted laws restricting abortions, which reveals the far-reaching effects of these appointments.
During his eight years in office, President Barack Obama consistently named only pro-abortion judges, winning him top ratings from NARAL Pro-Choice America as well as abortion giant Planned Parenthood. During his first term in office, Obama named two former Planned Parenthood officials as federal judges, appointing former Planned Parenthood board member Morgan Christen to the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals and former Planned Parenthood director John McConnell as a federal judge in Rhode Island.
Last September, U.S. District Court Judge Tanya Walton Pratt—an Obama appointee—issued a permanent injunction against Indiana’s “Sex Selective and Disability Abortion Ban,” following a lawsuit brought by Planned Parenthood.
The Indiana law banned gender-selective abortions and those based on a prenatal diagnosis of disabilities such as Down syndrome, to help prevent abortion being used as a eugenic tool to weed out children considered “undesirable.”
In her ruling, however, the judge claimed that provisions of the law “violate the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.”
Judge Pratt defended sex-selective and disability-based abortions, stating that “it is a woman’s right to choose an abortion that is protected, which, of course, leaves no room for the State to examine, let alone prohibit, the basis or bases upon which a woman makes her choice.”
“The right to a pre-viability abortion is categorical,” regardless of the particular motivation that drives a woman to seek it, Pratt declared.
Similarly, Judge Timothy S. Black of the U.S. District Court for Southern Ohio, another Obama-appointed federal judge, blocked an Ohio law last week banning selective abortions that target babies diagnosed with Down syndrome.
“Federal law is crystal clear,” Black wrote in a 22-page ruling granting a preliminary injunction against the state.
Black ruled that the Ohio law “wrongfully” prohibits women from making the ultimate decision to terminate a pregnancy before viability. “It violates the right to privacy of every woman in Ohio and is unconstitutional on its face,” he added.
Ohio Gov. John Kasich had signed the “Down Syndrome Non-Discrimination Act” into law last December, banning selective abortions performed on babies diagnosed with Trisomy 21, or Down syndrome.
The act, also known as House Bill 214, amended Ohio law to “prohibit a person from performing, inducing, or attempting to perform or induce an abortion on a pregnant woman who is seeking the abortion because an unborn child has or may have Down Syndrome.”
Follow Thomas D. Williams on Twitter Follow @tdwilliamsrome