Yesterday the Supreme Court ruled in favor of placing a temporary hold on Louisiana’s abortion law which requires abortion providers to have hospital privileges at a local hospital. In a tight ruling, 5-4, the Supreme Court set the block in place for a week.
This is, however, only a small victory for abortion advocates as reproductive rights in Louisiana are still in jeopardy while the Supreme Court decides whether they will hear the case. If the court decides to not hear the case after Thursday, the law will go back in effect.
The four justices who voted to keep the law in effect were Alito, Kavanaugh, Thomas, and Gorsuch the conservative judges in the Supreme Court, with Chief Justice Roberts breaking from the other conservative justices. Kavanaugh wrote a dissenting opinion in which he saw no undue burden placed on doctors as long as they would be able to comply or try to comply with the law requirements. Notably no other judge joined him in his dissenting opinion.
Louisiana’s abortion law passed in 2014; however, the Center for Reproductive Right immediately challenged the law. June Medical Services v. Gee challenged the constitutionality of 2014 Louisiana abortion law. In September of 2018 the 5th circuit court of appeals allowed the law to remain in place which breaking with Supreme Court precedent.
The Louisiana abortion law mirrored the notable Texas anti-abortion law at the Center of the Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt decision. In 2016, the Supreme Court ruled in the Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt case that the Texas anti-abortion law unconstitutional as it placed an undue burden on receiving an abortion.
Recently, more states have been passing laws requiring admitting privileges for doctors who perform abortions. There is no evidence that demonstrate that admitting privileges protect women’s health; however, these laws have led to the closure of abortion clinics across the United States.
Media Resources: CNN, 2/8/19; Vox, 2/7/19