UPDATE (06/29/20): The Supreme Court struck down the Louisiana law requiring medical professionals to secure unnecessary hospital admitting privileges in a vigorously opposed 5-4 decision. Chief Justice John Roberts sided with the more liberal colleagues in the decision, on the basis of treating “like laws alike” because the Louisiana law at issue was similar to a Texas law struck down in 2016. Roberts wrote in his concurring opinion “The Louisiana law imposes a burden on access to abortion just as severe as that imposed by the Texas law… Therefore Louisiana’s law cannot stand under our precedents.”
Although this decision again strikes down an odious anti-abortion law, federal legislation is essential to legally ensure abortion access for all.
UPDATE (03/02/20): The Supreme Court will hear arguments about a Louisiana abortion law that requires medical professionals to secure unnecessary hospital admitting privileges, resulting in the closing of all but one clinic in the state. Congress must act to enshrine the right to abortion on the federal level to protect this basic health care right.
Over the last few years a number of states have passed the most draconian abortion limitations in recent history. Many of these laws are so-called fetal heartbeat bills that ban abortion at around six weeks, before many people even realize they’re pregnant. Some laws impose felony charges for obtaining abortions, grant states the power to prosecute people over miscarriages, and deny people the right to abortion even in cases of rape or incest. All of these bills are an assault on pregnant people’s fundamental right to bodily autonomy.
Thanks to the Republican Party’s obstruction of President Obama’s judicial nominations, the Trump administration has appointed dozens of anti-choice judges at every level of the federal court system, including SCOTUS appointees Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh. Anti-choice legislatures know that their new abortion restrictions are likely to be appealed all the way up to SCOTUS, where the conservative majority will have a chance to erode or even entirely reverse the historic Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion nationwide.
Limiting and criminalizing abortion will worsen the US’s already abysmal maternal health outcomes and disproportionately harm pregnant people who are low income and/or people of color. Urge your Members of Congress to commit to defending abortion access today.