The fight before the Supreme Court “is simply about having abortion physicians follow the same rules that apply to everyone else”

By Dave Andrusko

Given the impact of the pandemic and the number of hot-button issues the Supreme Court is addressing this term, it’s probably no surprise that we did not get an opinion today in June Medical Services v. Russo. This is the lawsuit brought against the 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 has explained. 

Almost entirely missed in the discussion is that prior to the law’s passage, abortion facilities were the only outpatient surgical facilities in Louisiana not required to have physicians with local hospital privileges. As always, the Abortion Industry wants special privileges and as close to absolute immunity from how it runs it bloody business as humanly possible.

Critics of the 2014  law, which passed by huge margins in both houses, argue it conflicts with the Court’s 2016 Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt decision, which is not true. 

The Justices heard oral arguments March 4. The following  six paragraphs come from Ben Clapper, executive director of Louisiana Right to Life, written the same day:

Justices Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan again showed their preference that the Court do everything it can to protect the interest of abortion and the businesses that sell abortion. They made no bones about their contempt for Louisiana’s law.

In the face of evidence that Louisiana abortion facilities had countless health violations, such as not sanitizing ultrasound probes between patients, not having IV fluid, and incidents of uterine puncture, the Justices dismissed these concerns, saying the District Court already decided the violations were not worth taking seriously. 

Note that the district court judge who made this decision was also an Obama-appointed judge.

These Justices seemed offended by the idea that admitting privileges for abortion physicians serve ANY health and safety interest.  They were exceedingly sympathetic to [Julie] Rikelman’s preference for the Court to declare any law requiring hospital privileges to be unconstitutional, even after she was peppered with questions from Chief Justice Roberts and Justices Alito and Kavanaugh. [Rickleman is the attorney for June Medical Services.]

Certainly, the continual mantra from Rikelman that the AMA and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), two decidedly pro-abortion organizations, were opposed to privileges for abortion businesses furthered this narrative.  Sadly, the AMA’s own Code of Medical Ethics Opinion (9.5.2), states, “The purpose of medical staff privileging is to improve the quality and efficiency of patient care in the hospital.” Just like these Justices, lower standards apply when it comes to abortion.

Deputy General [Jeffrey] Wall aptly reminded the Court that except for abortion, privileges are “fairly uncontroversial in the medical field.”  This underlines what we have been saying since 2014: In Louisiana, all other physicians in outpatient surgery settings must have privileges.  To our knowledge, this has never been a controversial policy. Physicians are never rallying against this supposed onerous burden. This law is simply about having abortion physicians follow the same rules that apply to everyone else.  

As we noted last week, March 4 was the day after “Super Tuesday,” in which pro-abortion former Vice President Joe Biden won nine states and in the process 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, as did Jeffrey Wall, Principal Deputy Solicitor General, in the Trump Administration. Instead the anti-life forces will have a powerful advocate.