SCOTUS Review - June Medical Services v. Gee*
In June Medical Services v. Russo, the justices struck down a Louisiana law requiring doctors who perform abortions to have the right to admit patients at nearby hospitals.
The United States Supreme Court on June 29, 2020 released its decision in June Medical Services LLC v. Russo, striking down Louisiana’s abortion privileging law as unconstitutional. The Louisiana law was virtually identical to a Texas that had been previously struck down by the Supreme Court in 2016 in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, and required physicians to have privileges at a nearby hospital in order to perform abortions, effectively limiting the number of clinics available to Louisiana women down to one in a not so subtle attempt to further restrict abortion rights. The Court citing Whole Women’s Health noted that state laws regulating abortion are constitutionally invalid if they place an undue burden on those seeking treatment. The majority opinion concludes that the requirement for admitting privileges presented no real health benefits for women seeking treatment.
“The right to an abortion is not an empty right, one only available in theory to those able to afford it or who happen to live in a state that recognizes it. Women of color, immigrant women and women living in poverty encounter additional obstacles in accessing their constitutionally guaranteed right because of laws like the one Louisiana passed that make available and affordable abortion care impossible. Restrictions on abortion significantly curb the ability of immigrant women and Latinas to seek necessary healthcare and to care for themselves. Attacks on immigrant women and women of color and efforts to take away our constitutional protections – whether in the form of abortion restrictions or family separation will be denounced by our community and fought at every turn.” said LatinoJustice Senior Counsel Natasha Bannan.
*Case summary drafted by LatinoJustice summer legal interns Lisa García, Univ of Georgia School of Law Class of 2021, and Ronak Patel, UCLA Law School Class of 2022.