Supreme Court shut down Louisiana law limiting abortion access

FreeState Justice joined LGBTQ+ organizations across the country to support the strike down of the law.

On Monday, June 29, the Supreme Court of the United States issued its decision in June Medical Services LLC v. Gee, striking down a Louisiana law requiring doctors performing abortions to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals. The decision held that the regulations present an “undue burden” in the exercise of the constitutional right to an abortion, affirming the Court’s 2016 ruling in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt.

In December 2019, FreeState Justice joined a coalition of 24 LGBTQ+ organizations urging the Supreme Court to strike down the Louisiana law. The organizations emphasized that reproductive health care clinics provide essential, affirming health care to many members of the LGBTQ+ community across the country. In addition to providing abortion services, these clinics create a “health care safety net” for LGBTQ+ community members and those of limited income. For many LGBTQ+ individuals, reproductive health care clinics have stepped in to offer affirming environments in which to receive care. The LGBTQ+ community looks to abortion clinics to provide contraception and abortion services, wellness services, examinations, STI testing and treatment, hormone replacement therapy, and insemination services. Amid an international health crisis, this decision is a welcome assurance that these essential health clinics will remain open.

With Monday’s ruling, we must persevere in protecting the reproductive rights of trans men, cis women, intersex and gender non-conforming people, which includes accessible and affordable abortion services. As targeted restrictions on abortion providers (TRAP laws) continue to surge across the country, we must work to not only protect abortion rights but to increase abortion access. In Maryland, legislators introduced fetal heartbeat bills (making abortions illegal when there is a detectable fetal heartbeat) during the 2019 session[1],[2]. Additionally, according to Guttmacher Institute, 71% of Maryland counties have no clinics providing abortions as of 2017, leaving almost one-third of the state’s population with limited abortion access[3].

As attacks on reproductive rights and gaps in abortion access continue, FreeState Justice will continue to support state and federal initiatives that advance reproductive justice for Marylanders. Bodily autonomy, doctor-patient relationships, and accessible healthcare remain priorities for LGBTQ+ individuals in our work ahead.

 

 

[1] “MD – 2019 Regular Session – HB978”. mgaleg.maryland.gov. General Assembly of Maryland. Retrieved July 1, 2020.

[2] “MD – 2019 Regular Session – HB978”. mgaleg.maryland.gov. General Assembly of Maryland. Retrieved July 1, 2020.

[3] State Facts About Abortion: Maryland. (2020, March 06). Retrieved July 01, 2020, from https://www.guttmacher.org/fact-sheet/state-facts-about-abortion-maryland

 

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