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In a surprise, Court smacks down Louisiana abortion restrictions

Supreme Court strikes down Louisiana abortion law

The two justices have ruled against abortion rights during their judicial careers and had fueled hopes among abortion opponents that the Supreme Court would be more likely to uphold restrictions.

Russo concerned Louisiana's requirement that abortion centers make arrangements for admitting women to nearby hospitals in cases of life-threatening complications.

But major professional medical organizations - including the American Medical Association and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists - disagreed, saying that given the safety of the procedure, admitting privilege laws for abortion providers are medically unnecessary.

"With this win, the clinics in Louisiana can stay open to serve the one million women of reproductive age in the state", she said in a statement.

The case garnered significant national attention and involvement with the Trump administration and various pro-life organizations filing numerous amicus briefs backing Louisiana.

The question up to now had been how the court would deal with these laws, and even whether it might overrule Roe vs. Wade, in light of its newest justices.

Susan B. Anthony List President Marjorie Dannenfelser called the ruling a "bitter disappointment".

A 5-4 decision from the Supreme Court in February 2019 blocked the law temporarily as the justices considered the case. "The Louisiana law burdens women seeking previability abortions to the same extent as the Texas law".

Breyer agreed that even if the law "could be said to further women's health to some marginal degree, the burdens it imposes far outweigh any such benefit, and thus the Act imposes an unconstitutional undue burden".

"There was a woman, for example, whose uterus was perforated, and she ended up sitting in the ER for three days hemorrhaging, and they ultimately had to do a hysterectomy and she lost her ability to have children just because the abortion doctor didn't have admitting privileges", Harle said.

"I joined the dissent in Whole Woman's Health and continue to believe that the case was wrongly decided", he wrote.

In dissent, Justice Clarence Thomas wrote: "Today a majority of the Court perpetuates its ill-founded abortion jurisprudence by enjoining a perfectly legitimate state law and doing so without jurisdiction".

Consequently, the positive reaction to the ruling from abortion rights group was muted. But those decisions created the right to abortion out of whole cloth, without a shred of support from the Constitution's text.

Developing: The U.S. Supreme Court has struck down a restrictive Louisiana abortion law.

On Monday, Justice Breyer wrote that the Louisiana law would severely restrict abortion as a practical matter.

When Anthony Kennedy resigned, many of us anxious that it was the death knell for federally recognized abortion rights, and that Roe v. Wade's days were numbered, but in siding with the pro-choice wing of the court in June Medical, John Roberts has indicated that might not be the case. Justice Stephen Breyer, writing for the majority in that decision, said courts must consider whether the benefits claimed for laws that put restrictions on abortion outweigh the burdens they put on the constitutional right to the procedure.

Of course, the ruling is important for women in Louisiana in protecting their access to abortion.

Abortion remains a divisive issue in the United States as it is in many countries.

Conservative lawmakers accused the court of bowing to political pressure. The Republican president, who years earlier had supported abortion rights, attended an anti-abortion march in January and declared, "Unborn children have never had a stronger defender in the White House".

"Both the plurality and the Chief Justice hold that abortion providers can invoke a woman's abortion right when they attack state laws that are enacted to protect a woman's health", Alito continued.

Baton Rouge-based US District Judge John deGravelles cited the undue burden precedent when he struck down Louisiana's law in 2016.

In fact, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals said there is no evidence the Louisiana law would result in any abortion facility closures, since only one doctor at a single facility in Louisiana was unable to obtain admitting privileges.