In a 5–4 decision, the Supreme Court has ruled in favor of abortion providers in June Medical Services v. Russo, striking down a Louisiana law that required abortionists to maintain admitting privileges at a local hospital in order to perform abortions. In doing so, the majority has upheld flawed precedent and permitted abortionists to continue benefiting from an enormous loophole, ignoring the health and safety concerns at stake for women seeking a surgical abortion.
Louisiana’s law aimed to bring abortion clinics into compliance with all other ambulatory surgical centers in the state, where health-care providers already are required to maintain admitting privileges. According to the Supreme Court’s majority opinion, applying that same policy to abortion providers is an unacceptable infringement on a woman’s supposed constitutional right to an abortion — in short, they have widened the gaping loophole that already exists for any policy related abortion, what the late Justice Antonin Scalia called the judiciary’s “abortion distortion.”
The majority opinion was written by Justice Stephen Breyer, and Chief Justice John Roberts penned a concurrence in which he insisted on the importance of stare decisis, arguing that because the Court struck down a similar admitting-privileges law in Texas in the 2016 case Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, it was bound by precedent to strike down the Louisiana law as well.