Supreme Court Blocks Louisiana Abortion Bill
The Supreme Court blocked a Louisiana abortion bill from going into effect in a split 5-4 decision on February 7, according to CNN. The bill in question was Louisiana’s Unsafe Abortion Protection Act, which was created by Louisiana’s legislature to provide safer abortions. Measures from the act require doctors that provide abortions to have admitting privileges at hospitals within a 30-mile range.
According to the NBC, the case was brought to the Supreme Court by a Louisiana clinic and two of its doctors. The plaintiffs argued that the legislation was too similar to the 2016 act passed in Texas that had been subsequently struck down by the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court repealed this law on the grounds that it created unnecessary and unfair restrictions on abortions that did not provide any medical benefits to women.
Opponents of the act, which include the Center for Reproductive Rights, argue that this legislation places unreasonable restrictions on women that seek abortions without any benefit. The center explained that if this legislation were to be enacted, only one doctor per clinic could perform abortions, which is not nearly enough for “approximately 10,000 women who seek abortion services in Louisiana each year.” They claim that the real motive behind this legislation is to prevent as many abortions as possible.
Justice Brett Kavanaugh wrote the dissenting opinion for this case, reported NPR. He argued that the legislation may not actually limit abortions, and that the Court should wait to observe its effects.
It should be noted that this decision does not strike down the legislation entirely, and instead simply places a hold on its enactment. Going forward, this case may foreshadow the Supreme Court’s future positions on abortion rights.