Supreme Court Strikes Down Louisiana Abortion Law in a 5-4 Ruling

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Early Monday morning, the Supreme Court of the United States, SCOTUS, ruled against the State of Louisiana in its efforts to uphold their restrictive abortion legislation. The decision was reached after a close 5-4 ruling, with Chief Justice John Roberts siding with his 4 liberal colleague justices. The law in question was initially instated in 2014 and mandated that doctors who provide abortion procedures would be required to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the abortion clinic.

The case was taken up by the Supreme Court after a lawsuit was alleged against Louisiana by local medical professionals, who argued the enforcement of the law would force nearly half of all abortion clinics to close their doors, limiting the access to abortions for everyday Americans.

Chief Justice Roberts, voted against fellow conservative judges on the decision. Roberts cites a former “binding precedent”, set by the Supreme Court’s decision to repeal a Texas law that restricted access to abortion clinics, as reasoning for his vote. Roberts also noted that he believed the Supreme Court’s ruling on the Texas law was wrong.

The ruling comes after a set of consequently monumental SCOTUS decisions on DACA and LGBTQ workplace discrimination. All rulings have been leaning in favor of more liberally-ideological beliefs, despite President Trump’s appointment of conservative Justice Brett Kavanaugh and replacement of Justice Anthony Kennedy.

The White House released a statement critiquing the Supreme Court’s decision, “In an unfortunate ruling today, the Supreme Court devalued both the health of mothers and the lives of unborn children by gutting Louisiana’s policy that required all abortion procedures be performed by individuals with admitting privileges at a nearby hospital … States have legitimate interests in regulating any medical procedure — including abortions — to protect patient safety.”

Prominent Democrat leaders voiced their approvals over the decision, including Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. Pelosi addressed the Louisiana law as “draconian” and that it’s entire enforcement was “… a clear and intentional violation of the Constitution, explicitly designed to permanently destroy women’s reproductive freedoms and dismantle their right to make their own decisions about their health, bodies and timing and size of their families.”