WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court has struck down a Louisiana law regulating abortion clinics, reasserting a commitment to abortion rights over fierce opposition from dissenting conservative justices in the first big abortion case of the Trump era.
Chief Justice John Roberts joined with his four more liberal colleagues in ruling that the law requiring doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals violates the abortion right the court first announced in the landmark Roe v. Wade decision in 1973.
In two previous abortion cases, Roberts had favored restrictions.
“The Supreme Court has issued a tragic decision that continues its practice of putting the interests of for-profit abortion businesses ahead of the health and safety of women,” Sen. Katrina Jackson of Monroe said in a statement issued moments after the announcement of the Supreme Court’s decision. “Together with my colleagues, both Democrats and Republicans and women and men, we passed the Unsafe Abortion Protection Act to protect the health and safety of women in Louisiana. While today’s decision is not what we wanted, we will never stop working to put the women of Louisiana above the interests of the abortion businesses.”
Center for Reproductive Rights President & CEO Nancy Northup issued a statement celebrating the court’s decision, but warning of similar lawsuits in the future.
“We’re relieved that the Louisiana law has been blocked today but we’re concerned about tomorrow,” Northup said. “With this win, the clinics in Louisiana can stay open to serve the one million women of reproductive age in the state. But the Court’s decision could embolden states to pass even more restrictive laws when clarity is needed if abortion rights are to be protected. Access to abortion care has a profound impact on a person’s health and life. For this reason, the Constitution protects the most intimate decisions that a person makes about their body, their health, their life, and their future.”