“This week marks 47 years since the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed our constitutional guarantee to reproductive freedom in Roe v. Wade. But that guarantee has been whittled away in the decades since. Today’s reality is that accessing abortion care in many states is extremely challenging, rendering Roe meaningless for some women. States have figured out how to shut down clinics and create endless barriers and delays for women.
Right now, six states have just one abortion clinic left; 30 states require doctors to give patients biased and medically inaccurate information about abortion; 31 states force patients to wait one to three days before they can get abortion care after first meeting with a provider. Last year alone, 18 states enacted 46 laws that prohibit or restrict abortion.
Disappointingly, we find ourselves back at the Supreme Court this term challenging a Louisiana law designed to shut down clinics. The law would leave just one doctor to serve all the women seeking abortion care in the state. Just four years ago, the Court found an identical law in Texas to be unconstitutional, ruling that states can’t use underhanded medical regulations to shut down clinics. But Louisiana is openly defying that ruling.
It is high time for Congress to act to protect women’s access to abortion services. We need Congress to pass protections like the Women’s Health Protection Act, which would put an end to these state laws that shut down clinics and curb access. Also critical is the EACH Woman Act, which would make this care more affordable. Together, these bills have the power to transform abortion access across the country. This kind of protection has never been needed more.
The Constitution demands that our fundamental rights not vary from state to state. For more than 25 years, the Center for Reproductive Rights has defended these constitutional rights and will continue to do so in the battles to come.”
Background information on June Medical Services v. Gee can be found on the Center’s website here. The Supreme Court will hear the case on March 4, 2020.
For a comprehensive guide to the current state of abortion laws and restrictions across the country, please visit the Center for Reproductive Rights’ enhanced digital tool What If Roe Fell. The Women’s Health Protection Act currently has 215 cosponsors in the House of Representatives and 42 cosponsors in the Senate. The bill would protect the right to abortion by creating a safeguard against restrictions that apply to no similar medical care.