CALIFORNIA — The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision today in June Medical Services LLC v. Russo struck down a medically unnecessary clinic shutdown law in Louisiana. The law threatened to decimate abortion access in Louisiana, where access is already extremely restricted.
In response, NARAL Pro-Choice California Director Shannon Hovis released the following statement:
“We are relieved by the Court’s ruling today, which will allow people in Louisiana to continue to have access to abortion care. This narrow ruling upheld precedent and deemed Louisiana’s medically unnecessary, anti-choice law unconstitutional. With so much at stake for abortion access in 2020, we’re proud that California can serve as a model for other states when it comes to safeguarding and expanding reproductive freedom. Yet even in California, there’s still more work to be done.
Anti-choice lawmakers have proven time and again that they’re willing to jeopardize the health, safety, and freedoms of Californians in a desperate attempt to score political points with Donald Trump. That is why NARAL is fighting to elect candidates like Christy Smith who agree with the overwhelming majority of Californians that politicians have no place interfering in personal decisions about pregnancy, and can be trusted to stand strong against Republican attacks on reproductive freedom.”
NARAL Pro-Choice America President Ilyse Hogue said:
“Today’s decision is a win for women in Louisiana who will continue to have access to the time-sensitive abortion care they need. It’s a win for truth and fact-based decision making, as even a Court tilted so far right couldn’t ignore the concrete arguments and data showing that public health is compromised by these burdensome restrictions on abortion. Finally, today’s decision shows that advocates can make a difference. Support for Roe v. Wade is at an all-time high in this country and so many made their voices heard through this process. The Court’s legitimacy in the eyes of the public will be threatened if they follow through on Trump’s promise to end legal abortion.
This win, however, doesn’t change the simple fact that reproductive freedom in the United States remains on the line thanks to anti-choice extremists who have shown time and again that they will stop at nothing to advance their dangerous ideological agenda and a Court still looking for ways to accommodate them.
In this moment of turmoil for our country, fighting for the fundamental rights of every body is more important than ever. That’s why we cannot and will not back down in the face of these relentless attacks on our ability to determine our own destinies. We will fight with everything we have to make sure the politicians like Senators Susan Collins, Joni Ernst, Thom Tillis, and Cory Gardner, who rubber-stamped Trump and Mitch McConnell’s efforts to stack our courts with radical right ideologues are held accountable for putting our freedom at risk. Anti-choice politicians be warned: The 77% of Americans who support the legal right to abortion care won’t forget what you did—and you’ll be answering to us this November.”
June Medical Services LLC v. Russo challenged a dangerous Louisiana law that would have gutted abortion access in the state by requiring doctors to have medically unnecessary admitting privileges at a local hospital.
The clinic shutdown law at issue in the case was identical to one blocked in a previous case, Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, decided by the Supreme Court in 2016 before Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch joined the Court. These restrictions are based on disinformation pushed by the anti-choice, anti-freedom movement that falsely claims restrictions like this help women, though there is no medical benefit to mandating admitting privileges and they do nothing to make women safer. In truth, the evidence overwhelmingly shows that abortion care is extremely safe and leading medical experts oppose these restrictions because they block “access to quality, evidence-based medicine.”
Across the country—including in California—this case threatened to shut down healthcare centers providing abortion care and push access to abortion care even further out of reach. In California, around 45% of counties have no clinics providing abortion care.
The anti-choice movement has spent decades working overtime to decimate access to abortion, state by state, law by law. This Louisiana law was just one part of a coordinated effort by the anti-choice radical right to gut Roe v. Wade and advance their agenda of power and control. Since 2011, anti-choice politicians have pushed nearly 450 laws restricting reproductive freedom through state legislatures.
# # #
NARAL Pro-Choice America and its network of state affiliates and chapters are dedicated to protecting and expanding reproductive freedom for all. For more than 50 years, NARAL has worked to guarantee that every woman has the right to make personal decisions regarding the full range of reproductive choices, including preventing unintended pregnancy, bearing healthy children, and choosing legal abortion. Since 1969, NARAL has made history, grown to over 2.5 million members, and met the moments that have defined this fight with action, power and freedom. In recognition of its work defending our constitutional right to choose, Fortune Magazine described NARAL as “one of the top 10 advocacy groups in America.