The Atlantic

A Temporary Win for Abortion Rights

Pro-choice advocates shouldn’t get their hopes up after the Supreme Court put a Louisiana statute on hold.
Source: Kevin Lamarque / Reuters

Late Thursday night, the Court put a Louisiana abortion statute on hold. The 5–4 order in June Medical Services v. Gee has been perceived as a victory for abortion rights—but I’m not sure it is. The stay is purely to allow the Court to decide whether to hear the case. And the Court’s four solid conservatives voted to allow the law to take effect right away, even though it runs directly contrary to the Court’s most recent abortion decision. Chief Justice John Roberts voted to stay the law; but this does not mean he will vote to strike it down.

If Thursday’s order was a win for abortion rights at all, it was a minor and probably temporary one.

is a challenge to Louisiana Act 620, which requires abortion providers in the state to have “admitting privileges” at a licensed hospital within 30In that 2016 case, a district court found that the “privileges” requirement provided no genuine health benefit to pregnant women. However, combined with a strict set of physical regulations for clinics, it would in fact cause the closure of most of the state’s licensed abortion clinics; thus, it constituted an “undue burden” on a pregnant woman’s constitutional right to have an abortion.

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