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March 4, 2020 / Press Releases

NARAL Renews Call to Uphold Reproductive Freedom as Supreme Court Hears First Major Abortion Case since Kavanaugh Confirmation


NARAL is holding senators accountable for their votes to confirm Kavanaugh with the protections of Roe in jeopardy like never before

For Immediate Release: March 4, 2020
Contact: media@prochoiceamerica.org

Today, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in June Medical Services LLC v. Russo, a case on a restrictive Louisiana abortion law that could threaten to decimate abortion access in Louisiana and give the green light to anti-choice politicians in other states to pass similar laws to roll back reproductive freedom. 

June v. Russo is also the first major abortion-related case since Brett Kavanaugh joined the bench, putting an intense spotlight on the Republican senators who voted to confirm Kavanaugh and who are up for re-election this year. These Republican senators are not only out of step with national public sentiment, but their own party’s voters. The American public overwhelmingly believes decisions about pregnancy should be made by women rather than politicians, including 94% of Democrats, 79% of Independents, and 59% of Republicans.  

As the Supreme Court hears oral arguments today in June v. Russo, NARAL Pro-Choice America President Ilyse Hogue released the following statement: 

“The Court showed an alarming disregard for precedent by even agreeing to take up June v. Russo, which is identical to a case settled just four years ago. The only difference between now and then is that Trump has made good on his promise to stack the Court with jurists committed to ending Roe v. Wade, criminalizing abortion, and punishing women.

Today’s hearing is a big moment for anti-choice leaders who invested a lot in Donald Trump to do their bidding and undercut abortion rights. They are banking on that investment yielding a Court that will ignore precedent, popular opinion, and public health to move an ideological agenda. But people are watching, and the senators who rubber-stamped Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation, the most unpopular and controversial Supreme Court nominee of all time, over the outcry from millions of Americans, will be held accountable for Kavanaugh’s actions.  

Chief Justice Roberts faces a clear choice and we hope he will choose to do right by the Constitution, the rights of women, and the integrity of the highest Court in the land. No matter what happens, NARAL members will continue to strive for a reality where all people have the fundamental freedom to decide what happens to their pregnancies. We will continue to fight politicians who want to impose their will and insert themselves in our most personal decisions. And we will hold those to account who chose to turn the High Court into a political instrument. Our message to those culpable for Kavanaugh’s lifetime appointment to the Court remains clear: We will not forget…not today, and not in November at the ballot box.”    

Reproductive freedom is under attack in the United States like never before. Since Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the U.S. Supreme Court cemented an anti-choice majority on the bench, lawmakers hostile to the right to access abortion have launched an all-out assault on reproductive rights in the hopes that a challenge will make its way to the Court and end Roe v. Wade.

June v. Russo centers on a dangerous Louisiana law that would effectively ban abortion in the state by requiring doctors to have medically-unecessary admitting privileges at a local hospital. If the Supreme Court allows this law to go into effect, it would force all but one of the state’s clinics to close – leaving just one abortion care provider for almost one million women in Louisiana.

The clinic shutdown law at issue in June v. Russo is identical to another case, Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, decided by the Supreme Court in 2016 before Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch joined the Court. Since Kavanaugh’s confirmation, emboldened anti-choice politicians have pounced on the opportunity to gut Roe. Extreme bans on abortion were introduced, passed, or signed in 31 states in 2019 alone. More than two dozen cases are in the pipeline that could completely overturn Roe

NARAL members will be rallying outside the Supreme Court alongside hundreds of others committed to reproductive freedom. NARAL members are also taking action outside the offices of Senators Susan Collins (R-ME), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Cory Gardner (R-CO), and Joni Ernst (R-IA), calling out their Republican senators for betraying women and families by voting for Brett Kavanaugh, an anti-choice extremist who has been openly hostile to Roe.

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NARAL Pro-Choice America and its network of state affiliates and chapters are dedicated to protecting and expanding reproductive freedom for all. For more than 50 years, NARAL has worked to guarantee that every woman has the right to make personal decisions regarding the full range of reproductive choices, including preventing unintended pregnancy, bearing healthy children, and choosing legal abortion. Since 1969, NARAL has made history, grown to over 2.5 million members, and met the moments that have defined this fight with action, power and freedom.  In recognition of its work defending our constitutional right to choose, Fortune Magazine described NARAL as “one of the top 10 advocacy groups in America.”

Everyone should be able to decide if, when, how, and with whom they start or grow a family.

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