The Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision to overturn a restrictive Louisiana law is far from the final battle for abortion opponents in their fight to overturn Roe v. Wade.
Sponsored by an anti-abortion Democrat, Louisiana Act 620 was passed in 2014. State Senator Katrina Jackson argued that its requirement that abortion providers have hospital admitting privileges within 30 miles from their clinic would protect women. Critics of the law, however, said the restriction would leave only one abortion provider at a clinic in a state of more than 4.5 million people.
“This case was not about the decriminalization of abortion or the overturning of Roe vs. Wade. I have a path looking at that,” Jackson said. “But I also know that I have a responsibility as a woman, as a legislator, to make sure that when a woman chooses to have an abortion, while Roe versus Wade is still the law, she has choices. sure.”
The case before the Supreme Court, June Medical Services LLC vs. Russowas nearly identical to a Texas case that the court struck down in 2016. In Whole Woman’s Health vs. Hellerstedt, he felt that a state’s requirement for admission privileges did not advance women’s health and placed an undue burden on women seeking abortions. Louisiana lawmakers, with help from the anti-abortion organization Americans united for lifesued the law claiming the facts were dramatically different from those in Texas.
“If something had happened to me, you better believe I would have wanted to be able to go straight to an operating room for surgery so that if my uterus had been perforated, if my intestine had been perforated, I every opportunity to save my life,” said Catherine Glenn Foster, president and CEO of Americans United for Life. “Women deserve this.”
In one amicus brief against law 620, major medical associations wrote that abortions are extremely safe and rarely require hospitalization. They argued that continuity of care between clinics and hospitals is provided by emergency protocols and communications, not by outpatient clinicians with hospital admitting privileges, which the plaintiff argued in the Texas and Louisiana case.
“Louisiana says many of its abortion restrictions are meant to protect women and children, but we know that’s not true because Louisiana has one of the worst maternal mortality rates in the nation.” said Julie Rikelman, senior counsel for the Center for Reproductive Rights. “He has one of the worst child health indicators in the country. And so instead of enacting laws and putting policies in place that would protect women and children, they’re just trying to make people’s decisions.”
Monday’s Supreme Court ruling is a victory for abortion rights groups. However, the 5-4 decision, in which Chief Justice John Roberts sided with the court’s liberals and newly appointed conservative justices Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch dissented, could be a sign of a deeper polarization and litigation to come.
“Anyone reading this who thinks abortion rights are safe now just wasn’t paying attention,” said abortion law expert Mary Ziegler of Florida State University College of Law.