• Rhea Warren

The Supreme Court Strikes Down Abortion Restrictions in Louisiana

Updated: Jul 24, 2020

Washington, DC - The U.S. Supreme Court struck down a controversial bill, that would close all abortion clinics in Louisiana. Chief Justice John Roberts broke with his traditionally conservative colleagues in a 5-4 ruling.

Roberts, typically votes conservatively on political matters, but he has been leaning farther left in some of his recent decisions. He was a driving force of a program that allowed the children of undocumented immigrants to remain in the U.S. and supported a bill that banned any discrimination to LGTBQ+ employees in the workplace. Today’s vote found him voting with his more liberal colleagues to end a bid in Louisiana to close all abortion clinics in the state.

“The Louisiana law imposes a burden on access to abortion just as severe as that imposed by the Texas Law, for the same reasons,” wrote Roberts, “Therefore Louisiana’s law cannot stand under our precedents.”

While Louisiana’s abortion clinics are protected for the time being, Roberts acknowledged that other states may try to follow suit with the same type of ban. “The validity of admitting privileges law depends on numerous factors that may differ from state to state,” wrote Roberts in a footnote.

Roberts’ support comes as a huge relief for abortion rights activists, especially in Southern states that are largely pro-life and conservative. Although this is a win for pro-choice activists, some are still concerned for the future.

“We’re relieved that the Louisiana law has been blocked today but we’re concerned about tomorrow”, said Nancy Northup, president and CEO of The Center of Reproductive Rights, “(The) Court’s decision could embolden states to pass even more restrictive laws when clarity is needed if abortion rights are to be protected.”

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