Commentary

SCOTUS Allows Abortion Industry to Put Its Interests Over Women’s Health and Safety

By Teresa Haney | June 29, 2020 | 5:11pm EDT
U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts speaks before presenting U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg the American Law Institute's Henry J. Friendly Medal in Washington, D.C. (Photo credit: JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images)
U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts speaks before presenting U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg the American Law Institute's Henry J. Friendly Medal in Washington, D.C. (Photo credit: JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images)

The Supreme Court struck down Monday a Louisiana law that protected women’s health and safety.

Our laws should protect women. Unfortunately, this ruling follows the Court’s previous ruling on a similar Texas law.

Louisiana’s law, Act 620, treated abortion doctors the same as doctors at all Louisiana ambulatory surgical centers by requiring them to obtain admitting privileges at a nearby hospital. This requirement helps ensure that abortion providers meet competency standards and are able to admit and treat a patient themselves at the hospital in case of an emergency, increasing continuity of care when women most need it.

It is a common-sense law that protected women.

That’s why it is disappointing that the abortion industry was allowed to challenge this law in court, claiming to speak on behalf of women.

This is not the first time that the abortion industry has done so. Abortion facilities frequently resist laws that require them to meet basic sanitary requirements, keep accurate medical records, and provide a standard of care that all women deserve.

How could the abortion industry possibly be looking out for the best interests of women when it challenges these laws?

But it is, perhaps, not so bewildering when you consider that Act 620 could have hurt the abortion industry’s bottom line. By pushing back against these common-sense safeguards, abortion businesses reveal that they value profits over their patients’ well-being.

Louisiana abortion providers went to extraordinary lengths to erase a law that promotes women’s well-being. This was a missed opportunity to stop such abuses.

 

What can we learn from this decision?

In a controlling concurring opinion, Chief Justice Roberts rejects a heightened standard for evaluating pro-life laws.

This means that states still have the right to enact health and safety abortion regulations that protect women and can find other ways to do so.

  • From botched abortions and the intentional destruction of medical records to failing to satisfy basic sanitary requirements, abortion providers have caused real harm to women. States can and should still investigate and hold abortion providers accountable for these transgressions.
  • Abortion businesses represent their own interests, not those of women, and states should take that into account when they consider other measures to protect women’s health.
  • Women can speak for themselves—they don’t need abortion businesses speaking for them in court.

We will continue to work to prioritize women’s health and safety over abortion business interests at the federal, state, and local level. We trust in God’s goodness and work to restore justice where abortion providers commit injustice. Let us continue to trust in God and listen to women, not abortion providers.

Teresa Haney is the Alliance Defending Freedom's Center for Life legal secretary.

Editor's Note: This piece originally appeared on the Alliance Defending Freedom.

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