Scalise calls SCOTUS decision on Louisiana abortion law ‘failure to protect innocent life’

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WASHINGTON, DC – DECEMBER 17: Republican Whip Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) walks to the podium for a press conference at the US Capitol on December 17, 2019 in Washington, DC. House Republican leaders criticized their Democratic colleagues handling of the impeachment proceedings of President Donald Trump. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Getty Images)

NEW ORLEANS, La. (WDSU) — House Republican Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) released a statement Monday after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on a Louisiana law regulating abortion clinics.

Scalise called the decision by SCOTUS a failure to protect innocent life.

Chief Justice John Roberts joined with his four more liberal colleagues in ruling that the law requiring doctors who perform abortions have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals violates the abortion right the court first announced in the landmark Roe v. Wade decision in 1973.

In two previous abortion cases, Roberts had favored restrictions.

The Louisiana law is virtually identical to one in Texas that the court struck down in 2016.

Scalise issued the following statement on June Medical Services v. Russo:

“I’m extremely disappointed in the United States Supreme Court’s flawed decision to strike down Louisiana’s law that requires abortion providers to have admitting privileges at local hospitals when emergencies arise. In yet another activist decision by the courts, the Supreme Court’s ruling overruled a law that was passed with a strong bipartisan coalition, ripping away basic safety standards for women that will put the lives of even more women at risk.

“Today’s deadly ruling is a major step backwards in the ability for states to protect the health and safety of their citizens. We’ve seen cases of women who die at abortion clinics because the staff aren’t prepared to properly care for them in an emergency, and now the Supreme Court denied states the ability to safely protect those women and their unborn babies.

“Although this decision is a major step backwards in the fight to protect innocent life, now is not the time to back down, and, in fact, today’s decision reminds us how much work we still have to do in our efforts to protect the unborn and defend the sanctity of life. We will not back down or relent. The march continues.”

A trial judge had said the law would not provide health benefits to women and would leave only one clinic open in Louisiana, in New Orleans. That would make it too hard for women to get an abortion, in violation of the Constitution, the judge ruled.

But the appeals court in New Orleans rejected the judge’s findings and upheld the law in 2018, doubting that any clinics would have to close and said the doctors had not tried hard enough to establish relationships with local hospitals.

The clinics filed an emergency appeal at the Supreme Court, asking that the law be blocked while the justices evaluated the case.

The regulations at issue in Louisiana are distinct from other state laws making their way through court challenges that would ban abortions early in a pregnancy. Those include bans on abortion once a fetal heartbeat is detected, as early as six weeks, and the almost total ban passed in Alabama.

By: WDSU Digital Team

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