March 5, 2020

Supreme Court Hears Arguments Regarding Louisiana's “Unsafe Abortion Protection Act”

On Wednesday, the Supreme Court began hearing arguments in June Medical Services, LLC v. Russo. The case is a challenge to Louisiana’s “Unsafe Abortion Protection Act,” which helps women receive care during the medical complications which may occur during an abortion procedure by requiring abortionists to maintain admitting privileges at a nearby hospital.

The law was passed to create consistency between abortion clinics and other outpatient surgical centers, which were already required to maintain admitting privileges with hospitals. Abortionists argue that imposing consistent regulations on their business is unfair, however, because it puts an undue burden on women seeking abortions. The interesting thing about that argument is that no independent women are challenging the law; only abortionists are. This is a law designed to protect women from medical complications which can occur during a surgical procedure by ensuring they can be swiftly admitted to a hospital by an abortionist when necessary. The law does not place any burden on women who seek abortions. It only places a burden on abortionists who don't seek admitting privileges to nearby hospitals.

Justice Samuel Alito made a point of emphasizing this fact. “You think that if the plaintiff actually has interests that are directly contrary to those individuals on whose behalf the plaintiff is claiming to sue, nevertheless that plaintiff can have standing?” he said during arguments.

National Right to Life President Carol Tobias gave this statement outside the Supreme Court:
"...Hospital admitting privileges are called 'privileges' for a reason. A doctor must meet certain requirements established by the hospital before he or she is allowed to practice there. Those privileges are usually given to doctors based on credentials and performance. 
If the abortion industry is really worried about women, they should want an admitting privileges requirement, in order to reassure women that they are getting good care. If admitting privileges are not required, the door is open for all substandard doctors to start performing abortions in LA."
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