A Lousiana law will be at the center of a Supreme Court Case coming up this week. The Court will hear oral arguments on March 4 in the case of June Medical Services v. Gee. The arguments will pertain to Louisiana’s pro-woman admitting privileges law.
At the heart of the case is a 2014 Louisiana law requiring abortion providers to have admitting privileges at a local hospital.
The Supreme Court docket lists the issue as “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 local hospital conflicts with the Supreme Court’s binding precedent in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt.”
Simply put, June Medical Services v. Gee is about restrictions on Louisiana abortion clinics.
The Court could open the door for states to essentially eliminate abortion access — without banning the procedure outright
If the Court decides in Gee to uphold the Louisiana admitting privileges law, it will probably accelerate the passage of similar laws around the country.
Republican-controlled state legislatures will essentially have the green light to pass increasingly stringent restrictions on clinic operations, without fear of a court challenge.
That could widen a divide that already exists in America, between states and regions where abortion is accessible and those where it’s essentially out of reach.
Louisiana is not the only state to have this requirement. Abortion rights supporters believe that these laws are only an attempt to shut down abortion clinics and serve no medical purpose.
The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals found that Louisiana’s law would not force any abortion clinic closures, saying, “there is no evidence that any of the clinics will close as a result of the Act,” and reiterating later that “the only permissible finding, under this record, is that no clinics will likely be forced to close on account of the Act.”
Louisiana abortion providers are able to obtain admitting privileges if they provide competent care.
Three abortion providers in Louisiana currently have qualifying privileges, and hundreds of gynecologists/obstetricians and family practice doctors have privileges and are qualified to perform abortions if they choose to do so.
Under Louisiana Law, all Ambulatory Surgery Center medical staff are required to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals, regardless of the procedure.
A doctor’s decision on whether or not to perform abortions is a personal decision.
Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, a 2016 Texas Supreme Court Case, struck down a similar law.
The Louisiana Attorney General issued a statement about the upcoming case,” Louisiana is not Texas. Louisiana Act 620 is not Texas H.B. 2 June Medical Services vs. Russo s not Whole Woman’s Health vs. Hellerstedt; our facts, our evidence, and are generally applicable medical regulations are all different.”
However, the Supreme Court has changed since 2016.
June Medical Services v. Gee is the first abortion-related case the Supreme Court will hear on the merits since Justice Brett Kavanaugh replaced the more moderate conservative Justice Anthony Kennedy.
Kennedy was considered to be the Court’s “swing” vote on abortion.
Often voting in favor to uphold abortion restrictions and laws, but also cutting back laws that limited the rights to have an abortion to the point it became virtually null and void.
Kavanaugh is suspected to vote with his conservative colleagues, to uphold abortion restrictions in Gee.
It is suspected that the case is the chance for the Supreme Court to revisit Roe v. Wade.
Roe v. Wade is the 1973 landmark Court Case that essentially established the rights for a woman to have an abortion in America.
The 1973 decision is still popular with most Americans wanting the ruling to stay in place.
However, anti-abortion groups and Congress members want the ruling to be overturned.
In Jan more than 200 Republican lawmakers signed an amicus brief asking the Court to uphold Louisiana law- and consider getting rid of Roe.
Facing lawsuits over its abortion laws, Louisiana decided the best defense was offense.
In a statement by the Attorney General regarding the case, “Louisiana abortionists have gone to extraordinary lengths to block this bipartisan law that promotes the well-being of women and protects minor girls who may find themselves in the hands of incompetent providers and under unsafe conditions. The Attorney Generals Office will not waver in defense of the pro-woman law, and we will continue to do all we legally can to protect Louisana’s women and girls.”