Supreme Court Blocks Louisiana Abortion Restrictions – Temporarily


Credit: ProgressOhio

On Thursday, the Supreme Court blocked Louisiana from enacting a law that would have shuttered abortion clinics across the state. According to many women’s groups, only a single doctor would have been allowed to legally perform abortions under the law.

In the 5-4 decision, the Court stated that the restrictions must stay on hold while challengers of the bill appeal a lower court decision that was in favor of the law. Chief Justice John Roberts joined the more liberal judges in the decision.

Recently appointed Justice Kavanaugh filed a dissent, answering questions about whether he would choose to uphold the Court’s precedent in the Roe v. Wade decision. In the dissent, Kavanaugh stated that he would allow the law to take effect to see if it imposed an undue burden on access to abortion in the state.

The law in question was passed by the Louisiana state legislature in 2014 and requires any doctor that offers abortions to have admitting privileges at a hospital within a range of 30 miles. The Center for Reproductive rights has stated that the law would result in only a single doctor at a New Orleans clinic able to legally perform abortions.

The new regulations were challenged by Louisiana doctors who argued they are identical to a Texas law struck down by the Supreme Court in 2016. In that ruling, the Court stated that the Texas law created an obstacle to women seeking to obtain an abortion, without providing any medical benefit in return.

The Supreme Court stated that requiring that abortion doctors have hospital admitting privileges was medically unnecessary. In Texas, the law caused half of the state’s abortion clinics to shut down.

The temporary stay on the enforcement of the Louisiana regulations will remain in place until the challengers are able to bring their full appeal before the Supreme Court. That could happen late in 2019 or early 2020.


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