June v. Gee: When the Issue Involves Pregnancy and Abortion Inconsistency Should Come as No Surprise
February 16, 2020
Lynn M. Paltrow
Edited by: Tim Zubizarreta
This year, the U.S. Supreme Court will consider June Medical Services v. Gee, the first abortion case since Justices Gorsuch and Kavanaugh became members of that court. The Court will rule on the constitutionality of a Louisiana law that is identical to a Texas law struck down by the Supreme Court in 2016. In Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, the Court held that a Texas law requiring physicians who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at a local hospital was unconstitutional because it imposed a substantial and undue burden on women seeking abortions. Three years later, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ignored this precedent and reached the opposite conclusion, deciding that an identical admitting-privileges law in Louisiana did not impose a substantial or undue burden.
Contradictory? Yes. But these rulings are also in keeping with a Court that has never arrived upon a consistent view of the rights of the 51% of people who have the capacity for pregnancy – the precursor to abortion. Stories from two other Supreme Court cases illustrate this.
Conservative Congress relishes prospect of stripping away our 'right to abortion'
Our stigmatizing culture fails to protect its citizens' rights
By Tatum Lindquist, The Daily
Jan 20, 2020
With a conservative majority in the U.S. Supreme Court, June Medical Services, LLC. v Gee may well be the next landmark case in the decades-long fist-fight for reproductive rights. Two of Washington state’s U.S. representatives signed, along with 205 other members of Congress, an amicus curiae brief in support of the Louisiana Act in question with June Medical Services, LLC. v Gee.
In June 2014, Louisiana passed Act 620 that required any abortion provider to hold admitting privileges to a hospital that is within 30 miles of the abortion procedure. In 2016, a Texas bill with an almost identical provision on abortion was found unconstitutional in Whole Women's Health v Hellerstedt (2016). That restriction on abortion providers was cited as an "undue burden" since it hindered a women's constitutional right to seek an abortion without any credible justification.
The Louisiana Clinic At The Center Of Abortion Case Before Supreme Court
December 29, 2019
On a recent Saturday morning at Hope Medical Group for Women in Shreveport, La., Kathaleen Pittman was preparing for a day of procedures, as a couple dozen patients sat quietly in the waiting area.
Her clinic is challenging a law passed by Louisiana's state legislature in 2014, which requires doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at a local hospital in case of an emergency. The case, June Medical Services, LLC v. Gee, is scheduled to go before the U.S. Supreme Court next year, and the court's decision has the potential to chip away at existing precedent protecting abortion rights.
The Last Decade Was Disastrous For Abortion Rights. Advocates Are Trying To Figure Out What’s Next.
This year, the battle over abortion rights reached a fever pitch. That’s what this entire decade was building toward.
Ema O'Connor BuzzFeed News Reporter
Posted on December 17, 2019
As the decade draws to a close, the national right to abortion is in the most vulnerable place it’s been in decades.
Since 2010, hundreds of laws restricting abortion access have been enacted all over the country, making the procedure less attainable and forcing abortion clinics to close. The US has gone from having around 1,720 facilities that perform abortions in 2011 to 1,587 in 2017 (the last year reproductive rights group Guttmacher Institute surveyed). As of this year, there are six states with only one abortion clinic left. Twenty-five abortion bans were signed into law in 2019 alone, leading to nationwide protests. Though all, so far, have been blocked by the courts, a major fight over abortion rights at the Supreme Court is yet to come.
One of Supreme Court’s most important abortion cases has just begun
By CBS News -
November 26, 2019
The lawsuit that will decide the future of abortion access in Louisiana – and the rest of the country – is officially underway.
A 63-page opening brief was filed late Monday night by the Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR) in a Supreme Court case that could leave Louisiana without access to legal abortion and provide a roadmap for other anti-abortion access states to follow.
Why anti-abortion groups are backing away from abortion bans
Debate around a Tennessee bill shows a big shift in anti-abortion strategy.
By Anna North
Aug 22, 2019
When legislators in Tennessee debated a bill earlier this month that would ban abortion as soon as a pregnancy can be detected, opposition came from a surprising place: anti-abortion groups.
Though the groups National Right to Life and Tennessee Right to Life oppose abortion, they also oppose the Tennessee ban, because they believe it would never stand up in court. If such a ban were to make it to the Supreme Court, the groups worry it would fail: “There is no objective evidence that we have more than one vote to overturn Roe v. Wade,” said James Bopp, general counsel of the National Right to Life Committee, which describes itself as “the nation’s oldest and largest pro-life organization,” in testimony against the bill.
Missouri and the Fight for Abortion Rights: How Past Became Prologue
Missouri’s historic battle for abortion rights presaged in important ways where we are today, and what will be required of reproductive rights advocates in the future.
Aug 1, 2019
The time, the late 1960s; the place, St. Louis, Missouri. Judy Widdicombe, a twenty-something self-described supermom, was raising two boys with her husband, working as a labor and delivery nurse in a Catholic hospital, and volunteering one night a week as a counselor on a suicide prevention hotline.
“In those days, there was no official place a woman with an unwanted pregnancy could go for help,” she told me when I interviewed her for my book, The Choices We Made: 25 Women and Men Speak Out About Abortion.
A Supreme Court Reporter Defines the Threat to Abortion Rights
By Isaac Chotiner
May 14, 2019
The past two weeks have been some of the worst on record for abortion rights in the U.S. Last week, the governor of Georgia, Brian Kemp, signed a bill that outlaws abortion after six weeks of pregnancy. Now Alabama is planning to go a step further, with the country’s most extreme anti-abortion law. Under the proposed legislation, abortion would be criminalized, with no exceptions for cases of rape or incest; doctors could face a ninety-nine-year prison sentence for terminating a pregnancy. The Alabama House has passed the bill, and the Senate is expected to vote on the measure on Tuesday evening.
Both the Georgia and Alabama laws are sure to be challenged in court, but the legal climate surrounding abortion is different than it was just last year. After the replacement of the Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy with Justice Brett Kavanaugh, Chief Justice John Roberts is the swing vote, and many conservatives have reason to hope that the Court will rule in favor of new restrictions on abortion and eventually even overturn Roe v. Wade.
John Roberts plays a waiting game on ‘Roe v. Wade’
By Harry Litman, Contributing columnist
February 13, 2019
The Supreme Court last week suspended a Louisiana abortion law, the justices' first significant action in an abortion case since the appointment of Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh. What does the decision portend for the future of Roe v. Wade in particular and reproductive rights in general?
The case, June Medical Services v. Gee, centers on a challenge to a provision in the Louisiana law (named, tellingly, “the Unsafe Abortion Protection Act”) requiring doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at hospitals within 30 miles of the clinic where they perform abortions. The ostensible idea is to have quick access to a hospital in the event something goes awry, threatening the health of the mother. Critics argued that the effect of the law would be to reduce to one (from the current four) the number of doctors who can perform abortions at the state’s three operating clinics.
A so-called victory shows how the Supreme Court will kill ‘Roe v. Wade’
By Leah Litman
February 8 2019
The Supreme Court gave reproductive justice advocates an unexpected win on Thursday night when it voted 5 to 4 to stay a court of appeals’ decision that could have closed abortion clinics in Louisiana. The chief justice joined the four more liberal justices in voting to prevent the Louisiana law from going into effect. That small achievement underscores how much progressives stand to lose with the new court and how low our standards for victory have become.
At issue in June Medical Services v. Gee is a Louisiana law that requires abortion providers to obtain admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of where the providers perform abortions. Just two and a half years ago, the Supreme Court held that very same requirement unconstitutional when Texas enacted it.