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(LifeSiteNews) — A federal district judge recently issued a court order suggesting that the Thirteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution may ensure a “right” to abortion, even though a federal court has previously said that the argument “borders on the frivolous.” 

Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly argued that the Supreme Court’s ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization only determined that the Fourteenth Amendment did not ensure women’s access to abortion, but that other sections of the Constitution may support a “right” to kill the unborn. 

The order comes in response to pro-life activist Lauren Handy’s “motion to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction” in a case which charged nine pro-lifers with violating the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act.  

“In part, Defendant [Handy] moves to dismiss the Superseding Indictment based on the Supreme Court’s statement in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Org., that ‘the Constitution does not confer a right to abortion’,” the order states. “As a threshold matter, and without the benefit of full briefing, it appears that Defendant’s constitutional argument is predicated on the false legal premise that the predicate statute at issue in the Superseding Indictment only regulates access to abortion.” 

Kollar-Kotelly declared that to rule on Handy’s motion, “the Court will require additional briefing.” She requested that “the parties shall address in their forthcoming briefing: whether the scope of Dobbs is in fact confined to the Fourteenth Amendment and whether, if so, any other provision of the Constitution could confer a right [sic] to abortion as an original matter, which may or may not be addressed in Dobbs, such that Dobbs may or may not be the final pronouncement on the issue, leaving an open question.” 

Both sides are also invited to raise “any other issues” related to the discussion they wish to argue. 

The judge wrote that the Fourteenth Amendment and the “unratified Equal Rights Amendment” were the only pieces of legislation brought up in the initial review of the Dobbs case. She argued that “it is entirely possible that the Court might have held in Dobbs that some other provision of the Constitution provided a right to access reproductive services [sic] had that issue been raised.” 

Kollar-Kotelly suggested that the Thirteenth Amendment is one that may hold a constitutional “right” to abortion sought by abortion supporters. This amendment declared slavery and involuntary servitude criminal offenses and enabled Congress to enforce the amendment through necessary legislation.

She mentioned one time in which the Thirteenth Amendment was used in court as evidence to support constitutional access to abortion. The case, heard in a federal court in the 1990s, challenged Utah’s recently signed Abortion Act which prohibited most abortions, with exceptions such as cases of rape and threats to the mother’s life. Jane L. v. Bangerter included arguments from plaintiffs that protecting the unborn from abortion forces women into slavery or involuntary servitude, which would violate the Thirteenth Amendment. According to a case summary, the court decided that “to equate the carrying of a child to term with ‘compulsory labor’” was an argument which “borders on the frivolous.” 

The court further determined that the “contention that one of the purposes of the Thirteenth Amendment was to secure the right of elective abortion totally lacks merit.” 

Kollar-Kotelly has decided that “the Government shall file its response on or before March 3, 2023, and Defendant(s) [Handy] shall file their reply on or before March 17, 2023.” 

The case which prompted Kollar-Kotelly’s order began in March 2022, when the Biden administration’s Department of Justice (DOJ) and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) raided and arrested nine pro-life activists, slapping each with alleged violations of the FACE Act.  

As previously reported by LifeSiteNews, the pro-lifers — including Lauren Handy and Joan Andrews Bell — were charged for participating in an October 2020 Red Rose Rescue at a major abortion facility in Washington, D.C. Each of the activists face up to 11 years in prison, three years of supervised release, and up to $350,000 in fines. 

During a rescue, volunteers enter the waiting room of abortion centers to offer mothers red roses and alternatives to killing their babies. If arrested and charged, the rescuers offer their punishment in solidarity with the murdered unborn. In some cases, such as the 2020 initiative, pro-lifers also block the entrance to the abortion facility. 

The rescue in question took place at the Washington Surgi-Clinic, which is notorious for its lead abortionist, Cesare Santangelo, committing ruthless second-trimester abortions. He has been accused of medical malpractice as well as leaving babies who survive abortions to die rather than giving the infants to authorities for medical care.  


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