Tomorrow is an important day for the Pelican State.
Act 620, a law passed by Louisiana’s elected officials and signed by Gov. Bobby Jindal in 2014, will be before the United States Supreme Court. LFF President Gene Mills will be seated with Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry in the Courtroom as Solicitor General Liz Murrill delivers arguments on behalf of the State of Louisiana, and in defense of our common-sense law that requires doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at local hospitals.
While critics of the law are quick to try and undermine our law’s legitimacy by comparing it to a Texas law that was struck down, the two are not the same. Numerous amicus briefs, including one filed by LFF, have explained the merits of Act 620.
Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry released his thoughts on the pending case earlier this week, citing a difference in “facts…evidence…and our generally applicable medical regulations” as rationale for the distance between this law and one decided before the U.S. Supreme Court in 2016.
“The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals found that Louisiana’s law would not force any abortion clinic closures, saying, ‘there is no evidence that any of the clinics will close as a result of the Act,’ and reiterating later that ‘the only permissible finding, under this record, is that no clinics will likely be forced to close on account of the Act.’ This is different that Texas’ law which, the Supreme Court concluded, ‘led to the closure of half of Texas’ clinics, or thereabouts.’
The Trump Administration also filed an amicus brief in support of Louisiana’s law, arguing that it would be improper to set a precedent where people or organizations declined to follow a law simply because it would be difficult to comply.
“Because plaintiffs challenging an abortion regulation bear the ‘burden to present evidence of causation’—that is, evidence that the regulation itself, rather than other causes, had ‘the effect’ of creating a substantial obstacle to obtaining an abortion—any assertion that abortion providers are unable to comply with a regulation must be subject to searching review.
“Otherwise, abortion providers could effectively veto disfavored legislation by asserting that compliance is too difficult or objectionable and threatening to leave practice if forced to follow the law.”
Act 620, the law in question, passed with bipartisan support. It’s themes and content are protective of access to healthcare for women, and it acts as a counterbalance to an abortion industry that is often interested in covering its mistakes – sometimes with women’s lives.
States must retain the right to protect their own people as best they can.
LFF looks forward to the Supreme Court’s ruling in June Medical Services v. Russo, and is optimistic that the Supreme Court will recognize the sovereign rights of states to govern in a manner which protects women’s safety.
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