In the realm of ridiculous liberal propaganda, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman plans to sue the Trump administration if the Obamacare replacement bill becomes law. His complaint? That it defunds Planned Parenthood and therefore it is “an unconstitutional attack on women’s rights to reproductive health services, including abortion.”
Presumably Schneiderman is a qualified lawyer, although a cursory layman’s examination of his argument raises substantial doubt about that, so he should know that a government decision not to pay for reproductive health services, or any health services whatsoever, including abortion, is not the same thing at all as prohibiting women from seeking out and obtaining such services from a willing and legal private provider…at their own expense.
The implicit argument Schneiderman makes is that there is a constitutional right to have government pay for something that people want or need. This of course is what Schneiderman, and every other socialist on the planet want, but that’s not what our Constitution says. Not at all.
The right to seek out and obtain an abortion does not include within the ambit of the Supreme Court’s ruling in Roe v. Wade any reference to or even suggestion that a woman has a right to have somebody else, or in Schneiderman’s argument everybody else, pay for it. Nor does the right to have an abortion create a constitutional mandate upon the government to provide that service, or to subsidize any private provider of such services like Planned Parenthood.
Government cannot prohibit Planned Parenhood or any other legally qualified provider from offering abortions. The Supreme Court has made it clear that offering a legal medical procedure cannot be forbidden, although it can be legally regulated so long as the regulations fall within the government’s authority to reasonably regulate such medical procedures. And banning abortions, or even imposing substantial restrictions or preconditions on patients or providers in the first trimester has been ruled to improperly burden a woman’s Roe v. Wade right to medical privacy and abortion.
But nowhere does the Constitution stand for the ridiculous argument Schneiderman makes that “You can’t impose an undue burden on a constitutionally protected right and clearly there are areas of the country where the only provider is Planned Parenthood, and this would impose an undue burden on women in that area.” That’s not an undue burden, it’s free market economics. If there is sufficient demand for abortions in those areas of the country then some free-market entrepreneur will open a clinic and make a profit. If there isn’t sufficient demand, then those seeking abortions will have to drive to where abortions are available. No law demands that it be easy or convenient to get an abortion.
Taxpayers are under no obligation to pay for such elective services and never have been. There simply is no constitutional right to have someone else pay for your abortion or provide a close-by convenient clinic where you can obtain one at taxpayer expense.
On the other hand, state and local governments cannot burden abortion clinics with regulations that have the effect of driving them out of business or making it difficult for a woman to obtain an abortion like demanding that abortionists have admitting privileges at the local hospital. That’s the sort of “undue burden” the Supreme Court refers to, not the economic calculations about how much an abortion costs or how far a woman has to drive to get one.
Schneiderman has a clear and obvious socialist objective here. Two of them actually. The first and most obvious one is that he is simply pandering to his liberal base by bloviating about something that he knows full well is a legally unsound argument. The second is that he hopes to find a sufficiently liberal federal court judge (and the system is packed to the brim with them it seems) who will ignore the Constitution, the law and every Supreme Court precedent and will rule that the right to have an abortion includes the right to have taxpayers pay for it.
That sort of tactic is typical of liberals, who seek to suborn the Constitution and our laws one cut of ten thousand at a time so that the lies they pander eventually become the perceived truth, like the lie that people have a right to taxpayer funded health care insurance that has become a perceived truth that is driving us almost inevitably and quite intentionally into the arms of “single payer” socialized medicine and all its attendant ills and financial disasters.