Court: No constitutional right to perform abortions

In a decision that could ripple across the nation, a federal appeals court ruled abortionists don’t have a constitutional right to perform abortions.

The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, by an 11-6 vote, upheld an Ohio law redirecting about $1.5 million a year in state tax money away from abortionists such as Planned Parenthood and toward other health providers.

“This ruling is a major victory for pro-life Ohioans and all Americans fighting to keep their own tax dollars from being used to prop up the abortion industry,” said SBA List President Marjorie Dannenfelser.

“The American people have repeatedly expressed their opposition to taxpayer funding of abortion businesses like Planned Parenthood, which destroys more than 332,000 innocent unborn children a year – funding that could be redirected to life-affirming care providers, such as the growing number of community health alternatives that outnumber Planned Parenthood facilities at least 20 to one nationwide.”

SBA List noted Planned Parenthood is the nation’s largest abortion business with more than 35 percent of the national market for abortions “and is not a significant provider of medical care in the United States.”

According to its most recent annual report, it performed 332,757 abortions in a single year and more than 3 million in the past 10 years.

The opinion by Judge Jeffrey Sutton said two Planned Parenthood affiliates challenged the state law, “claiming that it imposes an unconstitutional condition on public funding violation of the Due Process Clause.”

“The affiliates are correct that the Ohio law imposes a condition on the continued receipt of state funds,” the court said.

“But that condition does not violate the Constitution because the affiliates do not have a due process right to perform abortions.”

The ruling overturned a decision by a panel of judges.

The 2015 state law allowed the state to stop funding six programs from which abortionists drew cash: the STD Prevention Program; Minority HIV/AIDS Initiative; Personal Responsibility Education Program; Breast and Cervical Cancer Prevention Program; Ohio Infant Mortality Reduction Initiative; and Violence Against Women Act Sexual Violence Prevention Program.

Sutton found: “The state may not condition a benefit by requiring the recipients to sacrifice their constitutional rights.”

But the majority said there’s no constitutional right protecting the abortionists’ income.

A 2012 ruling by the 7th Circuit affirmed a nearly identical state law in Indiana.

The state of Ohio, the majority said, “may choose not to fund a private organization’s health and education initiatives. Private organizations do not have a constitutional right to obtain governmental funding to support their activities.

“The state also may choose not to subsidize constitutionally protected activities. Just as it has no obligation to provide a platform for an individual’s free speech, say a Speaker’s Corner in downtown Columbus, it has no obligation to pay for a woman’s abortion.”

The opinion said that while the 10th Circuit accepted the existence of that right, “it did so without meaningful analysis or authority.”