Why is a California court blocking a law that would give people access to birth control?
Posted On July 9, 2021
Free legal advice The California Supreme Court on Wednesday rejected a lawsuit by pro-choice groups that say it is unconstitutional for the state to deny a person birth control because it would interfere with the ability of a person to get a job or raise a family.
The ruling from the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco was a defeat for the pro-life movement, which had sought to overturn the state law.
The state law would require people who need birth control to obtain a prescription from their doctor, rather than the health department, and it would allow only religious institutions, such as hospitals, to administer the medication.
The California group, Americans United for Life, said the law violated the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which was enacted in 1996 to protect the rights of religious organizations.
The law was challenged in court in 2003 by a Christian couple who said they wanted to have their second child because they didn’t want their first child sterilized.
The couple, David and Sarah Schuster, filed a lawsuit in 2016, claiming that California’s ban on abortion was unconstitutional.
They argued that the law’s requirement that a woman seeking an abortion must first get a doctor’s prescription violates the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child.
They said the provision was intended to ensure that people who sought abortions would be able to obtain them in the first place.
The Supreme Court denied their request for an emergency stay in August 2016.
The justices also said the measure would violate the U and Ohio Constitutions.
The court is scheduled to consider the Schuster case in January.