Scotus Louisiana Abortion Case

April 4, 2021
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Today, the Supreme Court hears one of the most significant challenges to current abortion law in America in recent years.

About U.S. Abortion Laws

  • Roe v. Wade: A case heard before the Supreme Court in 1973 that legalized abortion with limits; a woman’s right to an abortion is *not* absolute.
  • Abortion is legal in the 1st trimester but states can regulate and, in some cases, outlaw abortion at certain points in the pregnancy, *unless* there is a threat to the health/life of mother.
  • BIG PICTURE: This is why states have different laws.


  • 2014: Louisiana law (Act 620) requires abortion providers to have admitting privileges at a hospital w/in 30 miles of the abortion site. The law never took effect due to legal challenges.
  • 2017: Trial court struck it down. Finding only 1 clinic/doctor would be able to perform abortions, court ruled it placed an “undue burden” on women.
  • 2018: Federal appeals court disagreed, reversed the trial court’s decision.

Important Context

  • Under current legal precedent, states cannot pass laws that impose an “undue burden” on the right to access abortion.
  • In 2016, the Court struck down a nearly identical law to Louisiana’s out of Texas, finding it imposed an “undue burden” on those seeking abortions.
  • Supreme Court has changed since 2016. Pres. Trump appointed justices – Justices Gorsuch and Kavanaugh.
“The true, and often overt, intent of legislators behind pretextual laws like Act 620, which have no demonstrable medical benefit, is to severely restrict, and ultimately eliminate, access to legal abortion under the guise of patient welfare.”

A friend-of-the-court brief filed by 197 congressional Democrats arguing the law should be struck down because its goal is to chip away at abortion rights – not to make abortions safer. Groups like Planned Parenthood and 22 state attorneys general filed similar briefs.

“The burdens of Act 620 are minimal—principally, a modest increase in the waiting time (less than an hour) to obtain an abortion. The benefits described above are more than sufficient to justify that burden.”

A friend-of-the-court brief filed by the Trump administration, urging the court to allow the law to go into effect to protect women. A similar brief was filed by more than 200 Republican (and two Democrat) members of Congress.

Louisiana Abortion Law

  • Current state law prohibits abortion after 20 weeks & requires two doctors visits before an abortion may be performed.
  • 2019 law (not in effect because of legal challenge) bans abortions if a fetal heartbeat is detected (approx. 6 wks).
  • Some say Louisiana is on the forefront of protecting life; others say it’s spearheading efforts to outlaw abortion.

The Supreme Court likely will issue a decision before July. States like New York and Illinois have tried to expand access to abortion. States like Arkansas, Alabama and Indiana will wait to see what happens with this law to see about passing further laws restricting abortion.

SHORT VIDEO: Jenna Shares 3 Things Every American Should Know About Abortion Law in America – It may surprise you!: WATCH HERE

2019: New York state voted to expand access to abortion – WHAT TO KNOW ABOUT THE LAW

2018: Georgia voted to restrict access to abortion – WHAT TO KNOW ABOUT THE LAW

Read More Here: New Orleans Advocate breakdown of the case CLICK HERE

Lower Court Ruling CLICK HERE

Dems Amici Brief CLICK HERE

by Jenna Lee,