UPDATES & ANALYSIS

12.06

Eighth Circuit Schedules Second En Banc Argument of the Term

by Ryan Koopmans | December 6, 2011

By Ryan Koopmans

The Eighth Circuit announced yesterday that the en banc court (all eleven active judges) will again consider South Dakota’s 2005 law on informed consent of abortion.  The full court considered portions of the law in 2008, voting 7-4 at that time to reverse the district court’s issuance of a preliminary injunction.

This time the court will focus on the the requirement that physicians inform patients of “all known medical risks” of abortion, including “[i]ncreased risk of suicide ideation and suicide.”  A majority of a three-judge panel, in an opinion by Judge Murphy, struck down the provision under the First Amendment and Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.  Judge Gruender dissented on both points. 

The en banc court will hear oral argument on January 9, 2012 in St. Louis.  This will be the second en banc argument of the 2011-2012 session.

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