Supreme Court Temporarily Blocks Louisiana’s Law Protecting Women’s Health & Safety

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 7, 2019
Contact: Mallory Quigley, mquigley@sbalist.org, 703-380-6674

SBA List: Court Continues Disappointing Trend of Avoiding Responsibility; Louisiana Should Be Able to Raise the Health Standard for Abortion Facilities & Abortionists

Washington, D.C.  – Tonight the U.S. Supreme Court temporarily blocked enforcement of a Louisiana law requiring abortionists to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of where they perform abortions. The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals had previously ruled in favor of the Louisiana law, which was introduced in 2014 by Democratic State Representative Katrina Jackson and passed by overwhelming bipartisan majorities (88-5 in the House and 34-3 in the Senate). The case is June Medical Services L.L.C. v. Gee.

The national pro-life group Susan B. Anthony List (SBA List) released the following statement on the ruling:

“With tonight’s decision, the Supreme Court continues a disappointing trend of avoiding their responsibility on decisions concerning abortion,” said SBA List President Marjorie Dannenfelser. “The 5th Circuit previously examined the facts and concluded Louisiana’s law does not constitute a burden and is a reasonable step to protect women. We urge the Court to grant cert in this case so that the Justices can take a closer look at the facts themselves and let the law stand. Louisiana legislators on both sides of the aisle enacted this law to protect women from the abortion lobby which repeatedly puts profit over health and safety standards, and has proven incapable of policing itself. The Court should not prevent state legislators from doing the job they were elected by their constituents to do.”

Background:

  • In 2014, State Representative Katrina Jackson (D), a member of SBA List’s National Pro-Life Women’s Caucus, introduced the Unsafe Abortion Protection Act and then-Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) signed it into law after it passed the legislature with overwhelming majorities.
  • In August 2014, a federal judge blocked the law from going into effect.
  • In April 2017, a federal judge ruled the law as unconstitutional.
  • On September 26, 2018 a panel of the 5th Circuit upheld the law, reversing the district court’s ruling.
  • A Louisiana abortion facility and two abortionists asked the full 5th Circuit to rehear the case (en banc review). Last month, in a 9-6 vote, the 5th Circuit denied their request.
  • The plaintiffs then requested that the Supreme Court issue an emergency stay to block enforcement of the law.
  • The 5th Circuit ruling followed a ruling from the 8th Circuit on September 10, 2018 that revearsed a lower court decision against Missouri’s admitting privileges regulation.

SBA List is a network of more than 700,000 pro-life Americans nationwide, dedicated to ending abortion by electing national leaders and advocating for laws that save lives, with a special calling to promote pro-life women leaders.

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