Defend Pro-Life Laws at the Supreme Court

Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts answers questions during an appearance at Belmont University Wednesday Feb. 6 2019 in Nashville Tenn

If the law is later upheld, the court's decision, "leaves everyone wondering when, if ever, they can rely on the rulings of the court". Supporters of abortion rights fear that the court's conservative majority - solidified by the addition of Donald Trump's nominees Neil Gorsuch and Kavanaugh - will move to chip away at abortion rights if not eventually all but overturn the landmark Supreme Court opinions of Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey.

Kavanaugh wrote a dissent that said he would have let the law go into effect because the appeals court had said "the new law would not affect the availability of abortions from. the four doctors who now perform abortions at Louisiana's three abortion clinics".

In the worst-case scenario, the new configuration of the Court could lead, ultimately, to the overturning of Roe, making it possible for states to outlaw abortions for the first time since 1973.

The question, Kavanaugh wrote, is whether three clinic doctors without hospital admitting privileges can obtain them. "If they can then the three clinics could continue providing abortions". Chief Justice John Roberts joined the court's liberal bloc in a 5-4 decision that halted the law, which would have required abortion doctors to obtain admitting privileges at hospitals within 30 miles of a clinic. His vote Thursday was not a vote for abortion rights as much it was a message to the lower courts to "knock that shit off" in trying to unilaterally undercut Supreme Court precedent by ignoring Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt and not going through the proper channels.

Louisiana has conceded that its law is virtually identical to the Texas law. Notably, Justice Anthony Kennedy, who was considered to be a moderate swing vote, has retired.

If the law took effect and the doctors couldn't obtain admitting privileges during the transition period, then the doctors could file a complaint or motion for preliminary injunction.

So what explains the differences in the vote?

Supreme Court is stopping Louisiana from enforcing new regulations on abortion clinics in a test of the conservative court’s views
Supreme Court Blocks Abortion Restrictions in Louisiana

DeGravelles further found that were the Louisiana law allowed to go into effect, only one clinic and one doctor in the state would be qualified to perform abortions.

Catherine Glenn Foster, president of Americans United for Life, said her organization "is disappointed that a bare majority of [justices] continued to stay the enforcement of a commonsense safety measure that will protect Louisiana's women from substandard abortion practitioners". I reached to Ariane de Vogue, a Supreme Court and legal reporter, for answers. He wrote he was prepared to reverse course if it did in fact burden a woman's access to abortion, as opponents claimed. He said the closing of clinics would not impose driving distances as long as those in Texas, and he said that it was easier to get hospital admitting privileges in Louisiana.

"If the supreme court allows this law to stand, blatantly denying its own recent precedent, it throws into disarray the whole system of judicial review", said Katherine Ragsdale, the interim CEO of the National Abortion Federation.

Tu described the arrangement as more "commercial" than medical: Doctors promise to refer a set number of patients to a specific hospital in exchange for the ability to make that process simpler for their clients.

"Paging Senator Collins-this is on you", UltraViolet declared on Twitter after the high court's 5-4 decision. "The court should not prevent state legislators from doing the job they were elected by their constituents to do". Justices could decide to bring the case before the court as soon as this spring. One, a Trump appointee, was recused.

Late Thursday night, the Supreme Court temporarily blocked a bill in Louisiana that would have enforced more abortion restrictions.

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