US Supreme Court to hear cases on abortion, immigration

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The US Supreme Court has agreed to rule on two Trump administration initiatives: one placing limits on a federal health program in an effort to restrict access to abortions, and the other denying green cards to immigrants who were considered likely to make occasional use of public benefits like food stamps.

Under the court’s ordinary schedule, the cases will be argued in autumn.

But they may be moot by then, as President Joe Biden has signaled that his administration is reconsidering both measures.

Supreme-Court
US Supreme Court

 

The case on abortion referrals concerns a program known as Title X, which helps poor women pay for birth control, preventive health screenings for breast and cervical cancers, and treatment for sexually transmitted infections.

The programme, established under a law enacted in 1970, bars federal grants from being used in programs where abortion is a method of family planning.

The precise meaning of those words is contested, and over the years it has been subject to varying interpretations by different administrations.

The Trump administration announced in 2019 that clinics receiving money under the program could not refer patients for abortions at other facilities.

Major medical associations said the rule violated medical ethics, and Planned Parenthood withdrew from the programme.

Several states, the American Medical Association and others sued to challenge the measure, and federal appeals courts in San Francisco and Richmond, Virginia, issued conflicting decisions.

Such splits often lead to Supreme Court review.

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