The U.S. Supreme Court blocked a rogue decision by the Fifth Circuit Court that violated precedent and was designed to close the doors of the abortion providers in the state of Louisiana.
The June Medical Services v. Gee ruling reversed a Louisiana law that would require any physician providing abortion services in Louisiana to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital, despite having no medical justification for doing so.
The Fifth Circuit, which includes five Trump appointees (four of which heard this request for a hearing), violated Supreme Court precedent and upheld the law in September.
In Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, an identical case in Texas, the Supreme Court declared a law requiring physicians performing abortions to have admitting privileges at a local hospital to be unconstitutional.
“Today’s decision maintains a critical lifeline for women in Louisiana, who already face some of the bleakest outlooks for reproductive freedom,” said NARAL Pro-Choice America President Ilyse Hogue. “The Supreme Court rightfully refused to uphold a brazen and unconstitutional attempt to ignore identical cases that are intended to shutter abortion clinics in the state, making Roe v. Wade obsolete.
The stay is purely to allow the Supreme Court to decide whether to hear the case. And the four solid conservative justices voted to allow the law to take effect right away, even though it runs directly contrary to the top court’s most recent abortion decision.
“While this particular ruling thankfully falls on the right side of history, it illustrates a sobering reminder: the thread that women’s rights hang by is dangerously thin in so many places across the country,” said Hogue. “NARAL and our 2 million members across the country will continue to combat attempts by hostile state legislatures and courts to gut the protections of Roe v. Wade.”
After hearing the United States Supreme Court’s landmark case on the issue of abortion, Roe v. Wade, it ruled that a right to privacy under the 14th Amendment extended to a woman’s decision to terminate her pregnancy, while legitimate state interests in protecting women’s health balanced against the potential of human life.
Women celebrate the anniversary of January 22, 1973, when this important case was decided prohibiting most restrictions on abortion in the United States.
In addition to June Medical Services v. Gee (which could still be heard by the Supreme Court), there are at least 20 cases in various stages of judicial review that could significantly gut the protections of Roe, as well as access to abortion and contraception, as soon as the Supreme Court takes them up.
“Some Republicans say that women having abortions should be ‘punished’ and they persist in trying to make procedures illegal or difficult to get,” said Lisa McCormick, a pro-choice advocate in New Jersey. “They are dead wrong and those opportunists should be removed from public office.”
“Laws making abortion illegal are death sentences for innocent women who would be forced into unsafe methods of ending their unwanted pregnancies,” said McCormick.
President Donald Trump used the National Prayer Breakfast to attack abortion rights, and on the heels of his use of the State of the Union to do the same.
“With an anti-choice majority on the Supreme Court and more than 20 cases that could challenge Roe v. Wade at the federal level, it’s crucial that women take our fight to the states,” said McCormick, who is recruiting women to run for elected office. “I hope more pro-choice women will run to become legislators, because I would expect them to make reproductive freedom a priority.”
“Trump’s newfound love of talking about abortion is all about throwing red meat to his shrinking political base in hopes of political survival,” said Hogue.
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