Women’s Health Caucus applauds SCOTUS decision to strike down Louisiana law severely restricting abortions

HARRISBURG, June 29 The Democratic chairs of the Pennsylvania Women’s Health Caucus celebrated the U.S. Supreme Court decision today that ruled in favor of abortion rights and against a Louisiana law that severely restricted access in that state.

The 5-4 decision in June Medical Services, LLC vs. Russo invalidates the Louisiana law that required a physician performing abortion services to have admitting privileges in a hospital within 30 miles.

“This decision, like others, solidifies that women have a constitutional right to reproductive freedom,” said Rep. Mary Jo Daley, D-Montgomery, who serves as Democratic chairwoman of the Women’s Health Caucus and also serves on the House Health Committee.

“While this is a win, women still face extraordinary obstacles accessing reproductive healthcare, and these restrictions harm low-income women and Black and brown women the most. We need to increase our investment in essential healthcare because a woman’s health outcome should not depend on her zip code.”

Chief Justice John Roberts proved to be a crucial conservative swing vote, siding with liberal Justices Breyer, Ginsburg, Sotomayor and Kagan in the 5-4 decision that strikes down a Louisiana law that would have reduced the number of physicians legally allowed to conduct an abortion in the state to one.

“Over the years, there’s been continuous attempts to reverse the progress we’ve made when it comes to women’s rights and access to healthcare,” said Rep. Morgan Cephas, D-Phila., vice chairwoman of the WHC. “Decisions like this one made by SCOTUS today help to ensure that we continue moving forward so that our communities have equitable access to necessary care.”

This decision follows 2016 precedent in Whole Woman’s Health vs. Hellerstedt, when a nearly identical law in Texas was declared unconstitutional.

Daley said this was SCOTUS’ first major abortion rights decision since conservative Justices Gorsuch and Kavanaugh, appointed by President Trump, joined the court.