For Immediate Release

June 29, 2020
Contact: Meg (Wittman) DeBlase
Phone: 513-728-7870

Cincinnati, OH - Today, in a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that Louisiana's Unsafe Abortion Protection Act, requiring doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital, is unconstitutional. In June Medical Services LLC v. Russo, the state of Louisiana was fighting against the abortion industry to ensure that women were provided the best care possible during this medical procedure. The original Louisiana law was actually authored by Democratic State Representative Katrina Jackson to protect women from the Louisiana abortionists' long history of safety violations.

Chief Justice Roberts was the swing vote that determined the ruling. Justices Thomas, Alito, Gorsuch, and Kavanaugh dissented.

"Today, in the name of abortion rights, our Supreme Court will not protect women's safety," commented Meg DeBlase, Executive Director of Right to Life of Greater Cincinnati. "The pro-life community has seen hundreds of women injured and even killed through botched abortions. This simple safety measure, now apparently unconstitutional, could mean the difference between life or death for some. Abortion hurts women, babies, men, and families. The pro-life movement will continue to fight for justice for all, at every age and every stage!"

Cincinnati Right to Life is a proud member of the Right to Life Action Coalition of Ohio. Please see below for a detailed press release.


For Immediate Release

June 29, 2020
Contact: Molly Smith, President


Divided court strikes Louisiana law requiring admitting privileges

WASHINGTON DC—In what will be considered a black mark on the rule of law, in the June Medical Services v. Russo decision by the United States Supreme Court the justices determined that a state’s requirement that abortion providers have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals in order to protect the health and safety of women injured by abortion creates an undue burden on the right of a woman to seek an abortion.

“It is absolutely disheartening to see the Court once again protect butchers over babies” stated Molly Smith, President of the Right to Life Action Coalition of Ohio (RTLACO) and of Cleveland Right to Life. “These activist justices don’t grasp that this industry cannot continue to operate carte blanche, thumbing their noses at basic safety regulations which are there to protect women from being further victimized by abortion.”

The abortion provider and the Center for Reproductive Rights challenged the 2014 law, which was upheld in 2018 by the Fifth US Circuit Court of Appeals. June Medical then petitioned the US Supreme Court for review, and the Court stayed the enforcement of the law in 2019. Today’s ruling invalidates the Louisiana statute.

Ruling on a 5-4 margin in the case, with Justice Stephen Breyer writing the split opinion joined by Justices Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Sonya Sotomayor and Elena Kagan, and with Chief Justice John Roberts joining in the decision to reverse the ruling by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, but not in the opinion’s reasoning in order to grant the 5-4 majority, the ruling leaned heavily on the Whole Women’s Health v. Hellerstadt decision .

“We here in Ohio are concerned to see this case be finalized in a way that creates greater threats to the health and well-being of women experiencing abortion” commented Margie Christie, Executive Director of Dayton Right to Life and RTLACO past president. “It’s unbelievable that an industry that puts itself out as “health care” aggressively works to oppose basic minimum health care protections for their clients in case of complications. This ruling may have the effect that the care needed for an injured woman after a botched abortion is tragically delayed.”

The court, with Chief Justice John Roberts siding with the liberal wing of the panel, rejected what the Fifth Circuit noted in their ruling: that the Louisiana case is significantly different than the Court’s earlier decision in the Texas Hellerstadt case, which the Court struck down in 2016.  The majority opinion found that Louisiana’s regulation had a significant burden effect on women seeking abortion.

Justice Clarence Thomas, in a withering dissent arguing that abortion providers do not possess standing to bring a case on behalf of women who may be impacted by a law’s operation, noted “The plurality and THE CHIEF JUSTICE ]ultimately cast aside this jurisdictional barrier to conclude that Louisiana’s law is unconstitutional under our precedents. But those decisions created the right to abortion out of whole cloth, without a shred of support from the Constitution’s text. Our abortion precedents are grievously wrong and should be overruled.” 

“Stunningly, Chief Justice Roberts’ position notes that he believes that the Texas decision was wrongly decided,” stated Jeff Barefoot, RTLACO Vice-President and Board chairman of Greater Toledo Right to Life, “but determined that right or wrong, the doctrine of  stare decisis had to be adhered to in judging the Louisiana case, thus creating his decision to cast his vote with the activist court against protecting defenseless unborn children.”

Justice Samuel Alito, in a separate dissent joined in part by Justices Thomas, Gorsuch and Kavanaugh, opined “the idea that a regulated party can invoke the right of a third party for the purpose of attacking legislation enacted to protect the third party is stunning. Given the apparent conflict of interest, that concept would be rejected out of hand in a case not involving abortion.”

In his own dissenting opinion on the case, Justice Neil Gorsuch draws out an important fact: “Today’s decision declares the admitting privileges requirement unconstitutional even as applied to Does 3 and 5, each of whom holds admitting privileges. Not a single woman would be burdened by requiring these doctors to maintain the privileges they already have. Yet the State may not enforce the law even against them. In effect, the standard for facial challenges has been flipped on its head: Rather than requiring that a law be unconstitutional in all its applications to fall, today’s decision requires that Louisiana’s law be constitutional in all its applications to stand.”

“The pro-life movement cares deeply for and seeks to protect both the child facing their deaths through abortion, and for the mothers facing the trauma and even the threat to their own lives and health from the practice” observed Linda Theis, president-elect of RTLACO and former president of Ohio Right to Life. “Ohio’s own laws have been working with similar requirements. It is troubling that our nation’s highest court has denied the necessity for these common-sense protections.”


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