(HARRISBURG, PA) Pennsylvania Family Institute is disappointed by today’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Russo v June Medical Services LLC, striking down a Louisiana law aimed at protecting women’s health at abortion clinics.
“This is a terrible day for women’s health,” says Randall Wenger, Chief Counsel of the Pennsylvania Family Institute. “It’s bad enough that we don’t value the lives of unborn human beings. But this decision allows the abortion industry to continue to ignore what’s best for women’s health, putting profits over safety. It’s a missed opportunity to help put a stop to it.”
This case involved a Louisiana law requiring abortion providers to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the clinic — a requirement for every other outpatient surgical facility in the state, as it best protects a patient in the event of an emergency in getting the care they need as quickly and efficiently as possible. The Court based its decision on Whole Women’s Health v. Hellerstedt, an earlier case striking down a Texas law that, according to the Court, would have shut down too many clinics.
Chief Justice Roberts joined the four liberal justices, Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan, in support of today’s decision. In dissent were Justices Thomas, Alito, Gorsuch, and Kavanaugh. In his dissenting opinion, Justice Gorsuch points out that arriving at today’s decision is a sign that we’ve “lost our way” in the judicial process. And as Justice Thomas put it, “Today a majority of the court perpetuates its ill-founded abortion jurisprudence by enjoining a perfectly legitimate state law and doing so without jurisdiction.”
The Louisiana law was authored by Democrat State Senator Katrina Jackson, and was enacted with a bipartisan majority. Polling shows Americans overwhelmingly support holding abortion clinics to this standard of care to protect women. Even the notoriously pro-abortion American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends the face-to-face patient transfer as a best practice.
“The Supreme Court has once again thwarted the pro-life, common-sense will of the American people and their elected representatives — and sided with the abortion industry,” said Michael Geer, Pennsylvania Family Institute President. “Nevertheless, we will continue to press for real and lasting protection in law for every human life from conception until natural death — including for the women who are at risk from unscrupulous abortionists.”
To note, Pennsylvania passed a law in 2011 requiring that abortion facilities adhere to the standards of care that every other surgical facility is held to in the state. This law was passed in large part due to the horrific practices uncovered at the clinic of Philadelphia abortionist Kermit Gosnell, a now-convicted murderer whose abortion clinic went uninspected by the state for decades.
The Grand Jury involved in the Kermit Gosnell horrors recognized the need for basic health standards. From page 249 of the Grand Jury Report, “There is no justification for denying abortion patients the protections available to every other patient of an ambulatory surgical facility, and no reason to exempt abortion clinics from meeting these standards.”