Supreme Court abortion case poses major test for Trump picks

The Supreme Court will hear at least one abortion-related case this term.

The case from Louisiana marks the first time the Supreme Court will hear an abortion case since Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch joined the bench, shifting the balance of power to the conservative wing.

Their nominations were fiercely fought by abortion-rights activists, who saw them as a threat to Roe v. Wade and other decisions the Supreme Court has made over the years in favor of abortion access.

The case centers on a Louisiana law that would require doctors at abortion clinics have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals, a requirement critics say is aimed at forcing those clinics to close.

“For the first time in at least 25 years the court does not have a majority of justices who are committed to the legacy of a constitutional right to abortion on demand. That’s huge,” said Steven Aden, chief legal officer and general counsel for Americans United for Life, an anti-abortion legal group.

Potential changes coming: The Supreme Court in 2016 struck down a similar Texas law in Whole Women’s Health v. Hellerstedt. Justices said in the 5-3 ruling that admitting privilege requirements posed obstacles to abortion access and created an “undue burden” for women.

But that ruling came at a time when the court had only eight justices following the death of Justice Antonin Scalia. It was also before the retirement of Justice Anthony Kennedy, a swing vote who often sided with the court’s liberal wing on abortion.

Other cases: The court is expected to decide soon whether it will hear a challenge to an Indiana law that requires women get ultrasounds at least 18 hours before an abortion.

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