Posted on June 29, 2020 Issues: Abortion Health Care & Reproductive Rights

(Washington, D.C.) Today, the Supreme Court struck down a medically unnecessary abortion restriction in the high-stakes abortion case, June Medical Services v. Russo. 

In the case, abortion providers challenged a Louisiana law that requires physicians who provide abortion care to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of a clinic. The Court previously struck down an identical requirement as unconstitutional because it shut down clinics without providing any health or safety benefits to patients. It is one of more than 450 abortion restrictions passed in states across the country over the last decade, designed to push abortion out of reach and shame people who need this critical care. 

Imposing medically unnecessary barriers on abortion forces clinics to close, leaving many people without abortion care, especially Black and brown people, LGBTQ people, and low-income people who already face nearly insurmountable barriers to accessing the abortion care they need. The state of Louisiana even targeted abortion clinics for closure recently during the COVID-19 pandemic, forcing people to travel out of state. 

The following is a statement by Fatima Goss Graves, President and CEO of the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC): 

“The right to abortion is meaningless if you can’t access the critical and time-sensitive care you need. We’re glad the Court did what it was obligated to do. Any other decision would have simply reflected the new justices and makeup of the Court.  

Even though people in Louisiana are safe from this harmful law going into effect, the fight to secure abortion access for everyone in this country is far from over. The recent attempt by policymakers to exploit the devastating COVID-19 pandemic to shut down abortion clinics – including in Louisiana – shows that reality. Being able to get an abortion is fundamental to equality and freedom, and we will keep working to make sure everyone can get the abortion care they need.” 

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