Supreme Court set to issue consequential ruling on Louisiana abortion law

The Supreme Court is expected to hand down a bombshell ruling in the coming days, and it seems that abortion advocates have reason to be nervous about it.

In an op-ed for the Washington Examiner, attorneys Thomas Glessner and Angie Thomas argue that the case, which stems from a Lousiana abortion law, “may change the future of abortion” in the U.S.

Breaking down the case

Writing Sunday, Glessner and Thomas explained that the case revolves around a Louisiana law that requires doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at a hospital within a 30-mile radius of the facility they operate at, a requirement that the attorneys say applies to all other physicians.

Known as the Unsafe Abortion Protection Act, the bill was passed by Louisiana’s legislature in 2014 and faced a legal challenge the same year, the attorneys noted.

The Supreme Court first heard arguments in the case, known now as June Medical Services v. Russo, in March, according to National ReviewIt was “the first case involving abortion to come before the Court since the confirmation of Justice Brett Kavanaugh,” National Review adds.

Putting women at risk?

Among those challenging the legislation is the Delta Clinic of Baton Rouge. According to Glessner and Thomas, a patient from the clinic had to be rushed to a local hospital in 2019 after she experienced serious complications.

Baton Rouge local station WAFB 9 reported that “a woman who was 15-weeks pregnant underwent an abortion at the clinic and then began experiencing heavy bleeding.”

“A nurse tried to administer emergency saline on the patient, but found that the facility’s crash cart did not have any saline on it and another medication she needed was expired,” the WAFB 9 report added. “The state later inspected the facility and found it had failed to ‘order and maintain a supply of emergency drugs’ for stabilizing and/or treating medical and surgical complications on the licensed premises.”

The bottom line

The facility was forced to close for a short period over the incident, Glessner and Thomas wrote Sunday. Now, the attorneys are hoping no other women have to suffer similar fates.

“Women seeking abortions have the same right to competent and quality care as patients involved in other surgical procedures,” they wrote in their op-ed. “Louisiana’s admitting-privileges law protects that right as it protects women from injuries received from abortion providers such as these plaintiffs.”

Under current Supreme Court jurisprudence, abortion clinics have the right to challenge abortion safety measures, something the lawyers say is analogous to “allowing a car manufacturing company to represent consumer interests when challenging a car safety law.”

“Why can abortion clinics that harm women, as these two have, be allowed to challenge in court a state abortion regulation that protects the health of women? Further, how can they be allowed to assert that they are suing on behalf of women?” they asked, concluding:

If the Supreme Court agrees with the state of Louisiana that abortion providers have no standing to sue to block laws intended to protect women from them, then the lawsuit must be dismissed.

Only time will tell what the high court ultimately decides.

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