Supreme Court to hear first abortion case since confirming Justices Kavanaugh and Gorsuch
For Immediate Release
October 4, 2019
Contact: Zach Eisenstein
Phone: (202) 265-2405 ext 3330
(Washington, DC) – Today, the Supreme Court announced that it will hear June Medical Services v. Gee, a case that challenges a restrictive abortion law that recently passed in Louisiana.
The law in question requires providers to have hospital admitting privileges in order to perform abortions. In 2016, the Supreme Court struck down an identical law in Texas in the landmark case, Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt. The Court found that such restrictions placed an undue burden on a person’s constitutional right to obtain a safe and legal abortion. Major medical groups continue to oppose these clinic shutdown laws because they have no benefit to patient care or safety.
“There is no need for the Supreme Court to revisit an issue identical to one that was decided three years ago,” Samantha Dercher, SIECUS’ Federal Policy Director said. “The only difference between today’s case and Whole Woman’s Health is that the makeup of the Supreme Court has changed. This will be the first abortion case heard by Justices Kavanaugh and Gorsuch. And it’s what anti-abortion extremists have been waiting for.”
Similar abortion laws in Louisiana have already severely restricted access to care for Louisianans. The state had eleven abortion clinics in 2001. Today, it has only three. If the Supreme Court allows this law to take effect, there will be only one doctor left to perform abortions in the entire state.
“SIECUS is wary of the Supreme Court’s decision to hear this case, instead of simply reaffirming the decision it made three short years ago,” Dercher said. “The Court also agreed to hear an appeal from Louisiana arguing that abortion providers do not have legal standing to sue on behalf of their patients. If the Court sides with Louisiana on that appeal, it would undo more than fifty years of Supreme Court precedent regarding who has the legal right to bring a civil rights case to court.
The Court must stand with precedent and reaffirm the rule of law: that the Constitution provides the right to safe and legal abortion. At SIECUS, we remain firm in supporting every person’s right to learn about, understand, and access the full spectrum of sexual and reproductive health care services. And that very much includes abortion.”
The Sexuality Information and Education Council of the U.S. (SIECUS) has served as the national voice for sex education, sexual health, and sexual rights for over 50 years. SIECUS asserts that sexuality is a fundamental part of being human, one worthy of dignity and respect. We advocate for the rights of all people to accurate information, comprehensive sexuality education, and the full spectrum of sexual and reproductive health services. SIECUS works to create a world that ensures social justice inclusive of sexual and reproductive rights.