Today, in a 5-4 ruling, the Supreme Court struck down a Louisiana law mandating that abortion providers have nearby hospital admitting privileges. If upheld, the law would have closed most clinics across the state and set an example for other states seeking to restrict abortion access.

“Today’s Supreme Court ruling overturned Louisiana’s transparent attempt to undermine Roe v. Wade, close clinics, and restrict access – reaffirming that the Constitution prohibits undue burdens on the right to obtain an abortion,” said Eleanor Smeal, president of the Feminist Majority Foundation. “But the decision was a narrow one, showing just how much is at risk in the fight for reproductive freedom. Anti-choice extremists will continue their efforts to weaken and overturn Roe and harm those seeking abortion care. We must work to elect pro-choice legislators in November who will protect abortion access. The stakes have never been higher.”

“This decision is the product of years of work on the ground,” remarked Feminist Majority’s Louisiana Campus Organizer Ashley Sheffield. “It is amazing to see human rights upheld in the highest court and we are grateful to the Louisiana Coalition for Reproductive Freedom for this partnership. Safe, legal abortion is here to stay in Louisiana, and we’re gearing up to defeat yet another anti-abortion measure that will be on the Louisiana ballot come November!”

“We rejoice today that Louisiana’s law requiring abortion doctors to acquire hospital admitting privileges within 30 miles of their clinic was struck down. Justice Breyer penned the decision, recognizing in part, ‘As we have seen, hospitals can, and do, deny admitting privileges for reasons unrelated to a doctor’s ability safely to perform abortions,’” stated duVergne Gaines, director of Feminist Majority Foundation’s National Clinic Access Project. “Fear of anti-abortion violence and harassment is one of the reasons hospitals can and do refuse admitting privileges to physicians providing reproductive health care.”

“The Feminist Majority Foundation led the filing of a critical amicus brief in this landmark case about the pernicious impact of anti-abortion violence and harassment on physicians and on hospitals’ willingness to grant admitting privileges to abortion providers,” Gaines concluded. “The Supreme Court’s decision today implicitly acknowledged the District Court’s findings. These findings included the likelihood that if the Louisiana law went into effect, anti-abortion harassment and threats of violence would force providers to quit out of fear for their lives, thus radically reducing the number of abortion providers. The Court rightly concluded that too few abortion providers is an undue burden on access.”

In December of 2019, the Feminist Majority Foundation along with the National Organization for Women, the Southern Poverty Law Center, and the Women’s Law Project filed an amicus brief highlighting the connection between the Louisiana law and the ongoing threat of clinic violence.