Politics

Thomas Blasts Dismemberment Abortions, Says Justices Must Confront ‘What This Court Has Wrought’

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Mary Margaret Olohan Social Issues Reporter

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas spoke out against dismemberment abortions Friday, saying that justices must confront the realities of what the Supreme Court “has wrought” through abortion rulings.

In a concurring opinion, Thomas spoke on an Alabama law against dismemberment abortion after the Supreme Court declined to hear the case on Friday. The justice said that it is “implausible” that the Constitution would protect the dismemberment of a living child. The case was Harris v. West Alabama Women’s Center.

Thomas described the dismemberment abortion process, saying that the more developed a child is, “the more likely an abortion will involve dismembering it.”

“The notion that anything in the Constitution prevents States from passing laws prohibiting the dismembering of a living child is implausible,” the Supreme Court Justice said. (RELATED: Are Women Who Have Abortions Also Mothers? Here’s What RBG Said)

Justices of the U.S. Supreme Court including (L-R) Associate Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Stephen Breyer, Elena Kagan, Neil Gorsuch, Clarence Thomas, Chief Justice John Roberts, Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh, former Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy and Associate Justice Samuel Alito await the arrival of the casket of former U.S. President George H.W. Bush inside the U.S. Capitol Rotunda, where it will lie in state in Washington, U.S., December 3, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst/Pool

Justices of the U.S. Supreme Court including (L-R) Associate Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Stephen Breyer, Elena Kagan, Neil Gorsuch, Clarence Thomas, Chief Justice John Roberts, Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh, former Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy and Associate Justice Samuel Alito await the arrival of the casket of former U.S. President George H.W. Bush inside the U.S. Capitol Rotunda, where it will lie in state in Washington, U.S., December 3, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst/Pool

But Thomas noted that under the “undue burden” standard, restrictions on abortion are unconstitutional if their purpose is to put an obstacle in the path of a woman who is seeking an abortion.

Thomas referenced Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pa. v. Casey in which abortion providers persuaded lower courts that abortion options other than dismemberment abortions were too risky.

The Supreme Court justice said that lower courts ruled that Alabama abortion laws “had the effect of burdening abortions even though it did not prevent them.”

Thomas said that this case serves “as a stark reminder that our abortion jurisprudence has spiraled out of control.”

“Although this case does not present the opportunity to address our demonstrably erroneous ‘undue burden’ standard, we cannot continue blinking the reality of what this Court has wrought,” Thomas said.

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