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US Supreme Court strikes down law limiting abortions


Komal FatimaWeb Editor

30th June, 2020
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US Supreme Court strikes down law limiting abortions

The US Supreme Court has reigned that a law limiting abortions in Louisiana is unconstitutional. 

A law is in practice according to which doctors who offer abortions have the right to admit patients at a local hospital. Justices said in a landmark decision that this law placed an undue burden on women. 

Chief Justice John Roberts collaborated with liberal justices in the 5-4 decision targeting the anti-abortion groups.

According to the international news agency, the law required doctors to have admitting privileges to a hospital “not further than 30 miles from the location at which the abortion is performed or induced” in order to perform abortions.

Louisiana law said in 2014 that doctors must enjoy admitting privileges at hospitals within 30 miles (48km) of their practice. However, critics said that the number of providers in the state would be limited under the controversial law. Women’s right to an abortion would be violated.

What did the justices say?

Justice Stephen Breyer disagreed with the 5th Circuit court reasoning for lifting restrictions in Louisiana.

Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan joined Justice Breyer’s opinion. Justice Roberts presented a separate opinion. He noted that the reason for the ruling was due to court’s decision “four years ago invalidating a nearly identical Texas law”.

Justice Thomas wrote: “Today a majority of the Court perpetuates its ill-founded abortion jurisprudence by enjoining a perfectly legitimate state law and doing so without jurisdiction.”

Justice Thomas also said that the lawsuit was not brought by the women, it was provided by abortion providers. He said that it “maintained that private parties could not bring suit to vindicate the constitutional rights of individuals who are not before the Court”.

“Our abortion precedents are grievously wrong and should be overruled,” 

Abortion rights advocates have said, however, that mandating women come forward to challenge abortion laws themselves will limit the number of challenges, as many patients do not have access to the financial and legal resources.

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