STATEMENT: Supreme Court Rules in favor of Abortion Providers in June Medical Services v. Russo

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Statement from Nancy Northup, president and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights, reacting to today’s pivotal ruling in favor of abortion providers:

This is a big win that vindicates what we’ve said all along, which is that the Louisiana admitting privileges law is unconstitutional. This is a victory for the people of Louisiana and the rule of law, but this case never should have gotten this far. We won an identical case four years ago in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, and the fact that we had to fight so hard again goes to show that nothing should be taken for granted when it comes to protecting abortion rights. Indeed, the Court did not speak with a clear majority opinion which could muddy the waters when clarity is needed to protect abortion rights. 

As a result of this decision, the clinics in Louisiana can stay open to serve the one million women of reproductive age in the state. 

This is critical because access to abortion care has a profound impact on a person’s health and life. For this reason, the Constitution protects the most intimate decisions that a person makes about their body, their health, their life, and their future.  

Yet for decades, opponents of reproductive rights have relentlessly sought to deny the promise of Roe v. Wade with an avalanche of laws targeting providers, clinics, and patients. These laws disproportionately impact communities of color, young people, rural communities, and people living in poverty. In Louisiana, abortion restrictions disproportionately harm African Americans who already live under the weight of systemic racism that pervades every aspect of American life including housing, voting, education, employment, and health. Louisiana lawmakers should be addressing these ingrained inequities rather than taking people’s rights away. 

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. 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.