The Supreme Court made a major ruling in favor of abortion rights. On Monday, the Court blocked a restrictive abortion law in Louisiana that required doctors performing abortions to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals — an agreement between a doctor and a hospital that allows a patient to go to that hospital if they need urgent care.
According to New York Times, the law could have left the state with just one abortion clinic — only two of the five doctors who provide abortions in Louisiana have obtained admitting privileges, but one doctor testified that he could not handle the clinic’s work alone. A trial judge concluded that if the law were to go into effect, there would be just one doctor in a single clinic, in New Orleans, available to provide abortions in Louisiana.
The 5-4 decision is a win for abortion rights activists who said the law was not medically necessary and was an attempt to restrict abortion in the state.
The ruling was made after Chief Justice John Roberts sided with the liberal justices, including Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Sonia Sotomayor, Stephen G. Breyer, and Elena Kagan.
"The evidence also shows that opposition to abortion played a significant role in some hospitals' decisions to deny admitting privileges," Justice Breyer wrote.
In a statement on the decision, Nancy Northup, president and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights, said that while the ruling is important, "unfortunately, the Court’s ruling today will not stop those hell-bent on banning abortion."
"We will be back in court tomorrow and will continue to fight state by state, law by law to protect our constitutional right to abortion," Northup said. "But we shouldn’t have to keep playing whack-a-mole. It’s time for Congress to pass The Women’s Health Protection Act, a federal bill that would ensure the promise of Roe v. Wade is realized in every state for every person."