In today’s News:
Pro-life supporters sue D.C. mayor
Pro-life activists plan to sue the mayor of Washington, D.C., after police arrested two students for chalking a pro-life message outside of a Planned Parenthood abortion clinic. Students for Life will file a lawsuit against D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser following the arrest of a student activist and staffer for writing “BLACK PREBORN LIVES MATTER” with sidewalk chalk outside of the clinic. In a letter from Students for Life President Kristan Hawkins the group outlined its upcoming lawsuit, which alleges Bowser violated the group’s First Amendment rights. The activist group was met with six police cars and members were threatened with arrest before writing the message.
California seeks to expand abortion
Lawmakers in California are currently considering a bill that would ultimately expand abortion access so that certified nurse-midwives could commit abortions without doctor supervision. The bill seeks to remove physician oversight of certified nurse-midwives. Supporters of the bill say that it is designed to remove current restrictions on midwives so that they can provide care in rural areas where there are few OB/GYNs. However, because a 2013 law enabled non-physicians like nurses and midwives to commit abortions, this bill would ultimately mean that midwives could commit first-trimester surgical and medical abortions with no oversight. The bill has already cleared the senate. It is next slated to be discussed in a hearing before the assembly business and professions committee on Aug. 10.
Dismemberment abortion on the block
Yesterday, Nebraska lawmakers in a contentious vote, gave first-round approval to a ban on dilation and evacuation abortions, which pro-life lawmakers are hoping to pass before the end of legislative session. D&E abortions, commonly known as “dismemberment abortions,” are typically done in the second trimester of pregnancy and result in the dismemberment of an unborn child. Multiple senators attempted to filibuster the bill, but the bill earned the 33 votes necessary to break the filibuster.
Religious discrimination in Vermont is challenged
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit issued an order yesterday that halts Vermont’s discrimination against children based on the religious status of the high schools they attend. Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys represent two students, their parents, and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Burlington challenged the discrimination in the state’s dual enrollment program. The program provides funding that allows Vermont high school juniors and seniors to dual-enroll in two free college courses before they graduate. Students at public, secular private, and home-schools are eligible, but the state categorically excluded students at private religious high schools, such as Rice Memorial High School, which the Roman Catholic Diocese of Burlington owns and operates. The 2nd Circuit halted the discriminatory treatment while the lawsuit moves forward, explaining that “In light of the supreme court’s recent decision in Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue…, [the students, parents, and diocese] have a strong likelihood of success on the merits of their claims.” In May, the U.S. Department of Justice filed a statement of interest in the Vermont case in support of the students, their parents, and the Diocese, arguing that they “have plausibly pled a first amendment claim.”