posted on Oct, 16 2005 @ 04:05 AM
, a pregnant women rearrested for parole violation in California was transferred to Missouri before her scheduled legal
abortion could be performed in the choice friendly state. However, on seeking the same abortion
in Missouri she was refused transport to a
medical facility for the procedure she was paying for herself, due to Missouri's state law forbidding any tax dollars facilitating abortions. A
Federal Court ruled the state's position against merely transporting a prisoner to a medical facility as "facilitating abortion" was ridiculous, no
matter how much gas costs these days. Clarence Thomas, acting alone, said hold on now, let's think about this for a while while her fetus grows past
the limit for abortion in violation of another Missouri law.
High Court Blocks Prison Abortion Order
By DAVID TWIDDY, Associated Press Writer
Sat Oct 15, 5:54 AM ET
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - An attorney for a pregnant inmate who wants an abortion said time is running out for his client to have the procedure while
the courts decide her case.
The U.S. Supreme Court late Friday temporarily blocked a federal judge's ruling that ordered Missouri prison officials to drive the woman to a clinic
on Saturday for an abortion.
Justice Clarence Thomas, acting alone, granted the temporary stay pending a further decision by himself or the full court.
Missouri state law forbids spending tax dollars to facilitate an abortion. However, U.S. District Judge Dean Whipple ruled Thursday that the prison
system was blocking the woman from exercising her right to an abortion and ordered that the woman be taken to the clinic Saturday.
The woman's attorney, James Felakos of the American Civil Liberties Union, said in court papers that the woman is running out of time because she is
16 weeks to 17 weeks pregnant, and Missouri bars abortions after 22 weeks.
The woman, whose name was not disclosed in court papers, has said she will borrow money for the abortion from friends and family but cannot afford to
pay for transportation.
Under a policy adopted in July, Missouri's prison system does not provide transportation or security for inmates seeking abortions. The policy is
based on a state law that prohibits the spending of public funds "for the purpose of performing or assisting an abortion not necessary to save the
life of the mother."
State officials argued that their policy is reasonable because of the costs and security risks of transporting inmates outside for procedures the
officials said are not medically necessary.
The state estimated it would cost $350 plus fuel for two guards to accompany the woman on the 80-mile trip from her cell in Vandalia to a St. Louis
"It is not the prison that has imposed the burden, but the prisoner's violation of the law that resulted in her incarceration that has imposed the
burden," Attorney General Jay Nixon's office said.
In court papers, the woman said she discovered she was pregnant shortly after being arrested in California in July on a Missouri parole violation. She
said she tried to get an abortion in California but was transferred back to Missouri before it could be performed.
Justice Thomas handles appeals from the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which includes Missouri. He could lift the stay over the weekend, after
reviewing more legal arguments.
It is not uncommon for the Supreme Court to issue temporary stays that give both sides time to file more arguments.
It's also not uncommon to issue "temporary" partisan stays while time runs out on pressing issues like the Florida recount is it activist
In any event, it's interesting to me that so many people still think their taxes pay for abortions. Obviously in some state's (where people support
it) they do. But there are many laws on many state books engineered specifically to complicate things and force women to breed against their will. So
buck up authoritarians! Even if your state doesn't hate freedom, you've still got an activist in Clarence Thomas looking out for ya.
This also highlight's the significant problems that will ultimately result in any broader enforcement of "state's rights" when it comes to
restricting fundamental freedoms. A simple transfer between state's changed this woman's life forever against her will.
[edit on 16-10-2005 by RANT]