Washington, D.C. Newsroom, Jun 29, 2020 / 11:30 am
Lawmakers, legal scholars, and pro-life leaders all criticized a Supreme Court ruling on Monday that overturned state safety regulations for abortion clinics in Louisiana.
State Sen. Katrina Jackson (D), who authored the bipartisan Louisiana law requiring that abortion clinics be held to the same standards as surgical centers, said she was “disappointed” that the court threw out a law that she said would “protect women injured in abortion facilities.”
“I am proud to be a pro-life Democrat,” Jackson said in a video message published after the court’s decision. “I am proud that this law received overwhelming support by both women and men, Democrats and Republicans, black legislators and white legislators.”
Jackson’s Unsafe Abortion Protection Act received widespread support from both parties in the state legislature and was signed into law by then-governor Bobby Jindal (R) in 2014.
The Supreme Court justices, she said, “substituted their policy preferences over the clear will of the people of my great state.”
Four justices ruled on Monday in June Medical Services, LLC v. Russo that Louisiana’s requirement that abortion doctors have admitting privileges at a local hospital would have made it “impossible” for abortion clinics to comply, without offering a significant health benefit for women. Justice Stephen Breyer authored the opinion, and Chief Justice John Roberts concurred to tip the court’s balance 5-4 against Louisiana’s law.
Breyer wrote that the federal court for Louisiana’s middle district was correct in overturning the state’s law, and that the Fifth Circuit appeals court was wrong to reverse that decision.
He noted the district court’s finding of “the substantial obstacle the Act imposes” to abortion facilities, “and the absence of any health-related benefit.” The court was right to conclude that “the law imposes an undue burden and is therefore unconstitutional,” Breyer said.