In the United States repealed the law of Louisiana, restricting abortion. That is why this is an important decision.
The US Supreme Court ruled the Louisiana State Abortion Act unconstitutional, which significantly limited women’s ability to terminate a pregnancy. This is the first major abortion judgment made during the reign of Donald Trump.
Proponents of the abortion ban hoped that after Trump’s appointment of two conservative judges of the Supreme Court, most pro-life supporters would be formed in it. However, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, John Roberts, cast his vote for the repeal of the Louisiana law, ultimately deciding the outcome of the vote. Five judges spoke in favor, four against.
In 2016, a similar law passed in Texas was repealed in the same way. It was with this precedent that Roberts explained his decision.
What is the essence of the matter?
According to Louisiana law, abortion doctors must formally collaborate with one of the hospitals within 30 miles (48 km) of their clinic. According to the Hope Medical Group, whose doctors have abortions, the entry into force of the law would lead to the closure of two of their three clinics in Louisiana, where you can now terminate the pregnancy. The population of the state is about 4.6 million people.
Louisiana lawmakers have explained the adoption of the law by the need to protect women’s health. But activists advocating for the right of women to have abortions argue that complications after abortions are extremely rare and the location of a hospital nearby is not necessary.
They also note that many hospitals in the state are affiliated with religious organizations or their staff are conservative, and many of them do not allow abortions. As a result, doctors cannot perform the procedure, since many of them do not have a hospital nearby that can provide first aid if necessary.
According to the Supreme Court, this makes it difficult to realize the constitutional right of women to have an abortion.
Previously, the Louisiana law was repealed in a local court, but the Court of Appeal for the fifth federal district decided that its implementation would not lead to the closure of clinics and upheld it.
What was the reaction?
Nancy Northup, head of the Center for Reproductive Rights, a public organization that contested Louisiana law, said the Supreme Court ruling eased the situation, but uncertainty about tomorrow remained. “Thanks to this decision, clinics in Louisiana can remain open and continue to serve a million women of reproductive age living in the state,” she said.
“Unfortunately, today’s court decision will not stop those who are trying their best to ban abortion. We will have to go back to court and continue the fight – from state to state, from law to law – to protect our constitutional right to abortion, ”the activist said.
The White House condemned the Supreme Court ruling, saying it was devaluing maternal health and the lives of unborn children.
The voice of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, appointed by George W. Bush, was decisive in the repeal of Louisiana’s law on clinics where abortions are performed.
Poor consolation for Roberts’ opponents will be his statements that he is forced to respect the decision made in a similar case five years ago and which has become a precedent, although he does not agree with him. The remaining Republican-appointed Supreme Court justices, including two Trump protégés, chose to move toward tightening the restrictions on abortion laws.
This decision – just like recent verdicts regarding the rights of LGBT people and migrants – allows us to conclude that the ideological orientation of the Supreme Court will again be one of the most important issues during the November presidential election.
Roberts’ decisions were often based on purely technical subtleties, which reminds the liberals how fragile their recent victories have been.
And it gives hope to the Republicans that the appointment of another conservative judge will create a final majority in their favor.
Four years ago, there was a vacancy among the judges of the Supreme Court, and this helped Trump to win over many doubting Republicans; (at the same time, Democrats were less concerned with the ideological orientation of the country’s highest judicial body). Perhaps this was enough to ensure Trump’s extremely unconvincing victory.
Now the president can hope that history repeats itself.