The Supreme Court reaffirmed abortion protections on Monday, striking down a Louisiana abortion restriction that, if allowed to be implemented, could have made the state the first to be without a legal abortion provider since Roe v. Wade.
The decision — with Chief Justice John Roberts concurring with the court's four-member liberal minority — is the court's first major abortion rights decision since two Trump appointees took the bench, delivering a major win to abortion rights supporters who've been concerned about the court's new ideological makeup and how that would impact the future of abortion access.
Thursday's 138-page decision, written by Justice Stephen Breyer, found Louisiana's restriction — which requires doctors who provide abortions to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital — violated precedent set in the 2016 Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt ruling, a case that dealt with a nearly identical regulation in Texas.he would quit to avoid harassment from anti-abortion rights groups over being "the last man standing."
The author of the law, Louisiana State Representative Katrina Jackson, has denied that its purpose was to reduce abortion access, and called the regulation "common-sense women's health care."
Elizabeth Murrill, the state's solicitor general and attorney who defended the regulation in front of the Supreme Court, agreed, saying its purpose was "to protect the health and safety of women who are having abortions."
But major professional medical organizations — including the American Medical Association and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists — disagreed, saying that given the safety of the procedure, admitting privilege laws for abortion providers are medically unnecessary.
This is a developing story and will be updated.