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.