Today the Supreme Court of the United States will hear oral arguments for June Medical Services LLC v. Russo, which looks into the constitutionality of a Louisiana state law (Act 620) regarding abortion practices and has the potential to reshape the legal status of abortion nationwide.
According to SCOTUSblog’s official issue report, the case is looking into “whether the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit’s decision upholding Louisiana’s law requiring physicians who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at a local hospital conflicts with the Supreme Court’s binding precedent in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt,” which was decided by the court in 2016.
In an ABC News piece from Alexandra Svokos, the plaintiff for the case is argues that if enforced, the regulation “would effectively eliminate abortion access throughout the state.” And according to attorneys from the Center for Reproductive Rights, arguing on the side of June Medical, “there are two abortion providers with admitting privileges in Louisiana,” and if the new law is enforced, “there would likely be only one left.”
According to the Center for Reproductive Rights, the court’s decision in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt was clear: “states cannot use deceptive medical regulations to shut down clinics.” Kimberly Mutcherson, co-dean and law professor at Rutgers Law School, also notes that, “these kinds of laws are completely constructed as a way to making it even more difficult or impossible for abortion clinics to operate in these jurisdictions.” Medical experts from the American Medical Association (AMA) and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), agree in their opposition for these laws that are “medically unnecessary and burdensome” as “abortion access is already severely limited in Louisiana – and if this law were to go into effect, access would be decimated.”
Sources: ABS News 3/1; Center for Reproductive Rights 3/2020; Oyez 3/2020; SCOTUSblog 3/2020; LegiScan 3/2020