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Louisiana Abortion Law Unconstitutional As It Presents Substantial Obstacles To Women Seeking Abortion: US Supreme Court [Read Judgment]

LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK
30 Jun 2020 12:16 PM GMT
Louisiana Abortion Law Unconstitutional As It Presents Substantial Obstacles To Women Seeking Abortion: US Supreme Court [Read Judgment]

The Supreme Court of United States has held that a stringent abortion law in Louisiana is unconstitutional as it places substantial obstacles in the path of women seeking an abortion in Louisiana.

The majority [5:4] reiterated the observations made in a 2016 judgment [Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt] by the Court that that unnecessary health regulations that have the purpose or effect of presenting a substantial obstacle to a woman seeking an abortion impose an undue burden on the right" and are therefore unconstitutional.

The Court was hearing an appeal filed by several abortion clinics and providers to a Louisiana law nearly identical to the Texas law which was struck down four years ago in Whole Woman's Health. Just like the Texas law, the Louisiana law requires physicians performing abortions to have "active admitting privileges at a hospital . . . located not further than thirty miles from the location at which the abortion is performed."
Authoring the judgment for the majority, Justice Breyer observed that Louisiana's law poses a "substantial obstacle" to women seeking an abortion; that the law offers no significant health-related benefits; and that the law consequently imposes an "undue burden" on a woman's constitutional right to choose to have an abortion.The judge said:

"This case is similar to, nearly identical with, Whole Woman's Health. And the law must consequently reach a similar conclusion. Act 620 is unconstitutional."

Concurring with this judgment, the Chief Justice Roberts, who had dissented with majority in Whole Woman's Health, observed:
"I joined the dissent in Whole Woman's Health and continue to believe that the case was wrongly decided. The question today however is not whether Whole Woman's Health was right or wrong, but whether to adhere to it in deciding the present case. "

The Judge said that the Louisiana law imposes a burden on access to abortion just as severe as that imposed by the Texas law, and therefore applying the legal doctrine of stare decisis, Louisiana's law cannot stand under our precedents.


Case name: STEPHEN RUSSO, INTERIM SECRETARY, LOUISIANA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HOSPITALS, PETITIONER vs. JUNE MEDICAL SERVICES L. L. C.
Read Judgment


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