Supreme Court hears arguments over Louisiana abortion law
© WikiMedia (Debra Sweet)
Supreme Court hears arguments over Louisiana abortion law

The US Supreme Court heard oral arguments Wednesday in June Medical Services v. Russo over a Louisiana abortion law adopted in 2014 that requires abortion providers to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals. June Medical Services claims the law places an undue burden on women seeking abortions and is similar to a Texas law that was deemed unconstitutional by the Supreme Court four years ago.

There is an issue of third party standing raised by respondent Russo. June claims that they have standing, pointing to similar cases where the court has found abortion clinics have standing. Justice Samuel Alito emphasized the standing issue, questioning why there were no women involved in the lawsuit. The petitioner’s attorney replied that they had standing since the law imposes penalties on physicians such as the ones who work at June Medical Services.

June’s attorney proceeded to argue that the law served no state purpose and that there is no basis to distinguish it from the precedent. The respondent’s attorney tried to disprove this by pointing to the regulatory system of Louisiana and pointing out that the abortion law was merely following the regulations in place for surgery and other procedures in the state. In rebuttal, petitioner’s attorney said that admitting privileges serve no medical purpose and that they had been abolished in federal law so there was no reason to maintain them and uphold this abortion law.

A decision is expected by the end of June.