Washington D.C. -- Today the U.S. Supreme Court once again upheld the constitutional right of pregnant people to access abortion care without undue burden. But even as we celebrate this important and hard-fought victory, we know we can’t depend on the courts to save us.
The Louisiana law at stake in today’s case was virtually identical to a Texas law struck down by the Court just four years ago in Whole Woman’s Health. Both laws would have required clinicians performing abortions to acquire admitting privileges at nearby hospitals, a high bureaucratic barrier to care with no health benefit. Yet four justices were ready to overturn precedent simply because the Court’s ideological composition had changed. Furthermore, although Chief Justice John Roberts reluctantly sided with the majority’s judgment in deference to precedent, his concurring opinion all but invited future attacks on abortion rights.
In all, a majority of justices demonstrated today that they oppose abortion rights in principle, and four justices made clear that they’re willing to sacrifice the Court’s legitimacy to overturn settled abortion case law. This remains a very dangerous time for abortion rights. Today’s outcome reaffirms the urgent need for sweeping federal reforms to eliminate medically unnecessary barriers to care.
"While we’re pleased with today’s outcome, pregnant people's decisions about their lives shouldn't be in the hands of nine Supreme Court justices,” said Cynthia A. Pearson, Executive Director for the National Women’s Health Network. “We must secure the ability of pregnant people to access abortion care, in clinics or at home, for everyone who needs this health service."
As part of this work, the NWHN has launched our #MailTheAbortionPill campaign to ensure that pregnant people can receive safe and effective abortion pills at home even as abortion opponents in state legislatures will now scramble to find new ways of attacking clinic access. While medication abortion cannot replace clinic-based care, ensuring its widespread availability helps reduce the burden on clinics even as clinic-based care remains under threat.
The National Women’s Health Network is supported by our members and by choice we do not accept financial support from drug companies or medical device manufacturers. We bring the voices, concerns, and needs of women consumers to policy and regulatory tables.
Evita Almassi, MSW, served as the Communications and Digital Marketing Manager for the NWHN. Her 10+ years in nonprofit communications – especially with social media advocacy campaigns – enabled the NWHN to reach and empower more women in their health education and advocacy journeys.