For Immediate Release: June 29, 2020
The U.S. Supreme Court today issued its decision in June Medical Services LLC v. Russo, striking down a medically unnecessary clinic shutdown law in Louisiana as unconstitutional. The law threatened to decimate abortion access in Louisiana, where access is already extremely restricted. NARAL Pro-Choice America President Ilyse Hogue released the following statement in response to the decision:
“Today’s decision is a win for women in Louisiana who will continue to have access to the time-sensitive abortion care they need. It’s a win for truth and fact-based decision making, as even a Court tilted so far right couldn’t ignore the concrete arguments and data showing that public health is compromised by these burdensome restrictions on abortion. Finally, today’s decision shows that advocates can make a difference. Support for Roe v. Wade is at an all-time high in this country and so many made their voices heard through this process. The Court’s legitimacy in the eyes of the public will be threatened if they follow through on Trump’s promise to end legal abortion.
This win, however, doesn’t change the simple fact that reproductive freedom in the United States remains on the line thanks to anti-choice extremists who have shown time and again that they will stop at nothing to advance their dangerous ideological agenda and a Court still looking for ways to accommodate them.
In this moment of turmoil for our country, fighting for the fundamental rights of every body is more important than ever. That’s why we cannot and will not back down in the face of these relentless attacks on our ability to determine our own destinies. We will fight with everything we have to make sure the politicians like Senators Susan Collins, Joni Ernst, Thom Tillis, and Cory Gardner, who rubber-stamped Trump and Mitch McConnell’s efforts to stack our courts with radical right ideologues, are held accountable for putting our freedom at risk. Anti-choice politicians be warned: The 77% of Americans who support the legal right to abortion care won’t forget what you did—and you’ll be answering to us this November.”
June Medical Services LLC v. Russo challenged a dangerous Louisiana law that would have gutted abortion access in the state by requiring doctors to have medically unnecessary admitting privileges at a local hospital. The clinic shutdown law at issue in the case was identical to one blocked in another case, Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, decided by the Supreme Court in 2016 before Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch joined the Court. These restrictions are based on disinformation pushed by the anti-choice, anti-freedom movement that falsely claims restrictions like this help women, though there is no medical benefit to mandating admitting privileges and they do nothing to make women safer. In truth, the evidence overwhelmingly shows that abortion care is extremely safe and leading medical experts oppose restrictions like the one the Supreme Court considered in this case because they block “access to quality, evidence-based medicine.”
Reproductive freedom is under attack in the United States like never before. Since Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the U.S. Supreme Court tipped the balance of the bench to an anti-choice, anti-freedom majority, lawmakers hostile to abortion have launched an all-out assault on reproductive rights in hopes that a challenge will make its way to the Court and end Roe v. Wade. Since Kavanaugh’s confirmation, emboldened anti-choice politicians have pounced on any and every opportunity to gut the landmark abortion rights case. Extreme bans on abortion were introduced, passed, or signed in 31 states in 2019 alone, and more than two dozen cases are in the pipeline that could completely overturn Roe.
As NARAL has said from the beginning, we can’t forget who put Justices Kavanaugh and Gorsuch on the Court in the first place. Donald Trump’s judicial nominees are beholden to the anti-choice movement and with a majority on the Court hostile to reproductive freedom, our fundamental rights remain on the line.
As the Trump administration and anti-choice extremists across the country target reproductive rights in their quest to maintain white patriarchy and control women, NARAL has embarked on its multi-faceted, largest-ever electoral program for the 2020 election. Key to NARAL’s strategy is reaching, persuading, and mobilizing key voter segments including soft-partisan persuadable women voters, and low-propensity pro-choice voters who are motivated by Trump and Republicans’ commitment to ending Roe v. Wade, criminalizing abortion, and punishing women. These critical voting blocs value reproductive freedom and align with the 77% of Americans who support Roe v. Wade.
The anti-choice movement has spent decades working overtime to destroy access to abortion, state by state, law by law. This Louisiana law was just one part of a coordinated effort by the anti-choice radical right to gut Roe v. Wade and advance their agenda of power and control. Since 2011, anti-choice politicians have pushed nearly 450 laws restricting reproductive freedom through state legislatures.
This case underscores the need for federal protections for abortion rights. Passing the Women’s Health Protection Act (WHPA) would guarantee the right to abortion and defend against the onslaught of abortion bans and restrictions from state legislatures across the country—even if the Supreme Court guts Roe or state governments pass legislation restricting reproductive freedom.
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.”