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Louisiana Case Threatens Abortion Rights

By Jenna Roselli

Opinion Editor

The arguments in an extensive Louisiana abortion case, June Medical Services v. Gee, are scheduled to be heard by the Supreme Court within the next nine months. This Louisiana case does not have the power to fully eradicate Roe v. Wade, but may limit access to safe and legal abortion for a majority of women in America.

June Medical is asking the court to overturn a Lousiana law that requires doctors performing abortions to have admitting privileges at a local hospital or clinic. If the current law stands, it would effectively put all but one clinic in Louisiana out of business.

In Georgia a federal judge blocked a state law that would have potentially chipped away at the ability to have an abortion that was granted by Roe v. Wade. Georgia’s House Bill 481 is one of the most restrictive bans of abortion in America. This law determines that after as little as six weeks into a pregnanacy, when a fetal heartbeat can be distinguished, an abortion can no longer take place. The law has very few exceptions regarding the life of the mother during the pregnancy. For many women, the legally-allowed time for an abortion passes before they are aware of the pregnancy. US District Judge Steve Jones assessed the bill and deemed that it violated constitutional rights to privacy. In his ruling, he mentioned pre-viability abortion was granted in Roe v. Wade and that the Supreme Court has continuously ruled that abortion prior to viability cannot be banned, even by a state. Jones interpreted the allowed time period to be weeks after the first heartbeats of the fetus occur, and argued that this established law is directly violated in Georgia’s ban.  

Planned Parenthood, who began to sue state officials in June, supports Jones’ ruling on  House Bill 481 as it makes progress for reproductive rights along with many other organizations who are relieved to see Roe v. Wade still intact through all the controversy.

(Sources: The Atlantic, CNN, Newsweek)

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