SCOTUS Agrees to Hear Louisiana Abortion Case

On Friday the Supreme Court announced they will hear an abortion case this session. The case to be reviewed is, June Medical Services LLC v. Gee. From scotusblog.com: the issue being reviewed is ‘Whether the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit’s decision upholding Louisiana’s law requiring physicians who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at a local hospital conflict with the Supreme Court’s binding precedent in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt.’

‘June Medical Services LLC v. Gee’, which was passed in 2016 in the State of Louisiana, regulates that Physicians performing abortions must have admitting privileges at a local hospital in order to be able to perform the abortion. This law was struck down by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit.

“Texas had tried to defend the law by arguing that the admitting-privileges requirement was intended to protect the health of pregnant women” according to a scotusblog.com article by Amy Howe, on Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt. This case was heard by the supreme court in 2016, following the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, and was struck down in a 5-3 vote. Justice Kennedy had sided with the liberal Justices on the bench in this case.

According to a study from ‘The American Association of Prolife Obstetricians and Gynecologists’, a substantial number of women die within a year post-abortion, making it fatal for both mother and child. Having admitting privileges would mean the mother would be able to be admitted by the doctor who performed the abortion instead of having to wait in an emergency room.  

Current U.S. Supreme Court lineup credit supremecourt.gov

This will be the first abortion case for Justice Brett Kavanaugh to hear. Kavanaugh along with Neil Gorsich are both Trump appointees and also both members of the Federalist Society.   

This case will not touch on the landmark ruling of Roe Vs Wade which has forever changed our society. However, it will showcase the more conservative bench that has been appointed in part by President Donald Trump, and will get much attention from both the  Pro-life and Pro-choice movements. All eyes will likely be on Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch in addition to the more seasoned members of the panel. Already, abortion-rights advocates have urged the court to follow the precedent set in the 2016 ‘Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt’ case.

If the law is upheld the state would be left with only one doctor able to perform abortions according to the abortion-rights advocates. Both Pro-life and Pro-choice advocates will likely be outside the Supreme Court on the day of oral arguments.