The US Supreme Court has recently upheld a woman’s constitutional right to obtain an abortion in the most-watched abortion case in decades.
What We Know:
- In a 5-4 decision, Chief Justice John Roberts sided with liberal judges to rule that Louisiana’s efforts to restrict access to abortion were unconstitutional.
- The case, June Medical Services v Russo, was a pivotal test of how the court’s new conservative majority would rule on efforts to restrict women’s right to abortion, after Donald Trump fulfilled his promise to appoint conservative, anti-abortion judges to the bench.
- The decision comes after a spring in which eight states sought to heavily restrict abortions as “elective” procedures during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. In his written opinion accompanying the ruling, Roberts referenced a near identical Texas law, which the court ruled unconstitutional in 2016.
- “The Louisiana law imposes a burden on access to abortion just as severe as that imposed by the Texas law, for the same reasons. Therefore Louisiana’s law cannot stand under our precedents.”
- The ruling comes as a further blow to the president, after the Supreme Court ruled against the administration over treatment of young, undocumented immigrants on 18 June.
- The court in 1973 found women have a constitutional right to obtain an abortion, in the landmark case Roe v Wade. But since then, conservative forces in Southern and Midwestern states, in particular, have worked to severely restrict access to abortion services in the last three decades.
Trump pledged during his 2016 election campaign to overturn Roe v Wade, a key goal of rightwing evangelical Republicans. The president has repeatedly touted his success in nominating two ultra-conservative justices to the Supreme Court, tilting the balance of the nine-member court to the right.