The Very Reverend Katherine Ragsdale, Interim President and CEO of the National Abortion Federation (NAF), on the U.S. Supreme Court blocking Louisiana’s anti-abortion law, challenged in June Medical Services v. Gee:
We are relieved this unconstitutional law will not go into effect tomorrow. This will allow those who had their state-mandated, medically-unnecessary ultrasound today and are waiting out their state-mandated, medically-unnecessary 24-hour waiting period to access their abortion care tomorrow as planned. Unfortunately, this relief is only temporary.
If Louisiana’s law is allowed to stand it will have an impact far beyond Louisiana. 1) As women from LA are forced to leave the state for health care, they will create a burden on facilities in nearby states — including Texas where an identical law was ruled unconstitutional only two years ago — and on the women who already depend on those sites which will become overburdened; 2) The overturning of established precedent in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt puts at risk decisions based on that ruling which have overturned other medically unnecessary TRAP laws; and 3) If the Supreme Court allows this law to stand, blatantly denying its own recent precedent, it throws into disarray the whole system of judicial review and leaves everyone wondering when, if ever, they can rely on the rulings of the Court.
Throughout her pregnancy, a woman must be able to make the health decisions that are best for her circumstances– without interference from politicians. This includes decisions about whether to end a pregnancy. Health care providers must have all options available to them to provide the best care based on their patient’s specific needs. If the Supreme Court decides to blatantly defy its own precedent they will have declared open season on all Constitutional protections of women and we fully expect anti-choice politicians to seize the opportunity to insert themselves between women and their health care providers in every imaginable way.
The Supreme Court is the final defense against dangerous and unconstitutional attacks on basic rights and freedoms that affect the most important parts of our lives. If the Supreme Court fails to uphold precedent set just two years ago, women in America will lose their last line of defense for their reproductive freedom. Anti-abortion politicians continue to introduce and pass six-week abortion bans that are clearly unconstitutional and have been struck down by courts. There is nowhere in the U.S. where anti-abortion politicians are not already attacking women’s access to abortion care.