In a five to four vote, the U.S. Supreme Court blocked Louisiana from enforcing and abortion law that would require any doctor performing an abortion to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the procedure.
State legislators passed the law in 2014, but it never took effect. A district court overturned the law in 2017. It was then appealed to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. That court drew a different conclusion by upholding the law.
The Center for Reproductive Rights asked The Supreme Court to put the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals decision on hold. The Supreme Court vote Thursday was not a ruling on the legal merits of the case. It was just a decision to keep Louisiana from enforcing it for now.
Those in favor of the law argue it protects women’s health by requiring the same standard of care as other outpatient services.
“This is about protecting women and the abortion industry will stop at nothing really to reduce their own standard of care for women, and I think Louisiana can definitely do better,” Acadiana Director for Louisiana Right to Life Krista Corbello said.
Those agaisnt the law argue it could lead to the closure of the three remaining abortion clinics in the state.
“This law actually does nothing to improve the safety of women seeking abortion care in Louisiana. In fact, abortion is one of the safest medical procedures,” Lift Louisiana Executive Director Michelle Erenberg said.
If the Supreme Court agrees to hear the case, the stay would remain until the court issues a decision. That could happen sometime late this year or early 2020.