One more day passes and still no decision in June Medical Services v. Russo

By Dave Andrusko

Another day has come and gone and while the Supreme Court handed down a 5-4 decision in another hot-button case, nothing yet on June Medical Services v. Russo. As you will recall, that is a lawsuit brought against the 2014 Louisiana Unsafe Abortion Protection Act, which requires abortionists “to have the right to admit patients to a hospital within 30 miles of the place where the abortion is performed,” as Amy Howe explained. 

“In 2018, a federal appeals court rejected a challenge to the law, concluding that it did not ‘impose a substantial burden on a large fraction of women’”, the standard established in the 1992 Casey decision and reiterated in the 2016 Whole Woman’s Health case.

Pro-abortion organizations and their cohorts in the media predict a litany of terrible impacts if the High Court upholds the Louisiana law. For context, there is no limitation—no matter how finite, how much it increases the safety of the aborting woman, or how it resonates with an instinctual revulsion (such as the grotesque partial-birth abortion technique)—that the usual suspects wouldn’t tell us signals “the end of Roe v. Wade.”

We recall March 4, the day the Justices heard oral arguments over a challenge to the law–a bi-partisan measure passed with huge majorities in both houses. The questioning was, shall we say, intense.

The oral arguments lasted one hour, almost to the minute. I would strong encourage you to listen to get a sense of the tone of the justices questions and how they received the answers from Julie Rikelman of the Center for Reproductive Rights, who argued the case for  June Medical Services, Louisiana Solicitor General Elizabeth Murrill, who defended the law, and  Principal Deputy Solicitor General Jeffrey Wall, who argued on behalf of the Trump Administration in support of the Louisiana Unsafe Abortion Protection Act.

After the arguments, Louisiana Right to Life Executive Director Ben Clapper praised Murrill’s presentation.

“We congratulate Louisiana Solicitor Liz Murrill on her outstanding defense of Louisiana’s common-sense law designed to protect the health and safety of Louisiana women, “ Clapper said. “Liz effectively articulated the long history of deplorable conditions at Louisiana abortion facilities, which shows that these businesses cannot speak for Louisiana women.   It is time the Supreme Court put the health and safety of women ahead of the profits of abortion businesses.”

NRLC President Carol Tobias and NRL Political Director Karen Cross joined Mr. Clapper at the Supreme Court.

(Left to Right) Ben Clapper, executive director, Louisiana Right to Life; Carol Tobias, NRL President; and Karen Cross, NRL Political Director

Mrs. Tobias keenly explained the mentality of abortionists and their legion of media defenders. “For years, the abortion industry has carved out an exemption for itself from minimal health and safety requirements intended to protect unborn children and their mothers,” she said. “They insist they should not be required to follow the same laws as other surgical centers because, somehow, that would be ‘singling’ them out. That is nonsense.”

Tobias added, “The law in Louisiana requires that doctors at ambulatory surgical centers have admitting privileges at a local hospital. Why should the abortion industry be exempt? Why should they receive special treatment?”

Why, indeed?

Ironically, March 4 was the day after “Super Tuesday,” in which pro-abortion former Vice President Joe Biden won nine states and in the process (as we see in retrospect) effectively sewed up his party’s presidential nomination. 

That victory set up a classic pro-life/pro-abortion contest between President Donald Trump and Mr. Biden. One thing we can know for sure. Should Joe Biden be our next President, there will be no member from his administration arguing before the Supreme Court in defense of a pro-life law. Instead the anti-life forces will have a powerful advocate.

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