By Catriona Fee
July 1, 2020
On Monday, June 29, the Supreme Court handed down its decision for June Medical Services v. Russo, striking down a Louisiana law that requires abortionists to have admitting privileges to a hospital within 30 miles of where the abortion takes place. This policy allowed women who underwent botched abortions, or live births to receive treatment at a nearby hospital. The Supreme Court’s decision now prioritizes easy access to abortions over the basic health and safety of women.
June Medical Services, an abortion provider, argued that this law places an undue burden on a woman’s right to an abortion while bringing about no “health-related benefit” and serving no “relevant credentialing function.” The undue burden test, a standard used by the court, claims that restrictions on abortion make it nearly impossible to get one, thus violating due process. This was solidified in a previous case which was nearly identical to June Medical, Whole Women’s Health v. Hellerstedt, that dealt with a Texas law that also required abortionists to have admitting privileges to a hospital within 30 miles of the clinic, and required that abortion clinics comply with the standards required of all ambulatory surgical centers.
This ruling in favor of the abortion facility, June Medical Services, is a huge disappointment for the pro-life movement. This case had the potential to protect a state’s right to restrict abortion clinics and procedures, and to protect the health of women.
The court ruled 5-4 in favor of the abortion clinic, with Justices Alito, Thomas, Gorsuch, and Kavanaugh ruling with Russo, and Justices Ginsburg, Sotomayor, Kagan, Breyer, and Chief Justice John Roberts ruling with June Medical Services.
So why exactly is this case important? The question asked of the court was, “Does the decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, below, upholding Louisiana’s law requiring physicians who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at a local hospital conflict with the Court’s binding precedent in Whole Women’s Health v. Hellerstedt?” The court decided yes, it does.
This decision makes basic regulations and safety precautions illegal. This means that if a late-term abortion goes wrong, the woman may die if the doctor’s lack of admitting privileges prevents her from receiving the care that she needs to save her life. This ruling solidifies the pro-abortion stigma against any regulations on abortion, even those that seem obvious.
As a young woman, it is extremely disheartening to see The Supreme Court so blatantly disregard basic protections for women’s health. I attended a rally in front of the Supreme Court and there were many pro-abortion advocates holding signs claiming that abortion is essential to women’s health. The Supreme Court’s decision makes it abundantly clear that the pro-abortion Left does not care one bit about women’s health, as they are knowingly denying women life-saving health care. The classic saying to make abortion “safe, legal, and rare” has been hijacked to now make abortion available on demand, no matter the consequences.
The Clare Boothe Luce Center for Conservative Women supports the pro-life movement and is fighting to change young women’s hearts on this issue. We are disheartened by the decision of the Supreme Court. We resolve to stay in the fight towards a pro-life America, and to promote pro-family, pro-faith policy.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
A rising junior at the Catholic University of America, Catriona Fee is receiving a Politics major with a minor in Economics. On campus, she is involved in her school’s Young Americans for Freedom chapter, College Republicans chapter, Cardinals for Life, and NeW. Long-term, Catriona hopes to attend law school and have a career in foreign policy.
Catriona has experience as a Publicity and Marketing Intern for Regnery Publishing, an intern for Putnam County News, and an office assistant and research intern for the Putnam County History Museum.