Alice Clapman, Planned Parenthood Federation of America
Aug. 10, 2020
The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in June Medical Services struck down a Louisiana law requiring doctors to have privileges at a local hospital in order to perform abortions. Alice Clapman, litigator for Planned Parenthood Federation of America, says it’s time to recognize that many state abortion restrictions billed as “common sense health and safety regulations” are nothing more than tactics to hinder care, especially for rural communities and people of color who face systemic barriers to health care.
On June 29, in June Medical Services v. Russo (JMS), the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a Louisiana law that would have left the state with only one abortion provider. From the moment the court’s fractured decision came down, commentators began speculating and debating whether it signals a shift. Had the court moved from the balancing test applied in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt to a more deferential test, one that would focus solely on the degree of burden imposed by a challenged restriction, without inquiring into whether that restriction serves any valid state interest?