Feb 27, 2020
"Chances are that abortion rights cases will look very different very soon." That is the cautious assessment of Thomas H. Fisher, solicitor general of Indiana – one of 20 states joining in an amicus brief urging the Supreme Court to uphold a Louisiana law restricting abortion. A less cautious view is that this case has the potential to be a turning point in America's half-century-long abortion war.
The Supreme Court on March 4 will hear oral arguments in the case June Medical Services, LLC v. Gee. June Medical Services operates an abortion clinic in Louisiana and is joined in its suit by two anonymous doctors who do abortions. Gee is Dr. Rebekah Gee, formerly secretary of Louisiana's health and hospitals department.
At issue is a law passed by the state legislature in 2014 requiring that a doctor performing abortions have admitting privileges at a hospital no more than 30 miles away. The court's decision is expected before its present term ends in late June.
Louisiana argues that the law is a reasonable way to protect women who undergo abortions. Opponents call it a not-too-subtle attempt to make abortions harder to get, thereby imposing, in the Supreme Court's language in an earlier case, an "undue burden" on women seeking something the court says the Constitution gives them a right to.