House, Senate Democrats call on Supreme Court to block Louisiana abortion law

A majority of House and Senate Democrats are urging the Supreme Court to block a Louisiana abortion law.

A group of 161 House Democrats, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Calif.), and 36 Senate Democrats, including Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (N.Y.), filed an amicus brief in support of the law’s challengers, June Medical Services.

The law would require doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital, a requirement that critics say is designed to force abortion clinics to close.

According to the lawmakers, admitting privilege requirements “serve no medical benefit, while imposing undue burdens on access to abortion through increased costs and reduced availability of care. These burdens cause unnecessary delays and impose health risks to women.”

Flashback: The Supreme Court in 2016 struck down an almost identical law in Texas because it resulted in the closure of half of the state’s abortion clinics, which would place an “undue burden” on women seeking a legal abortion.

The Democrats said the Court has a duty to block the law, just as it did in Texas. Upholding Louisiana’s law would allow states to effectively eliminate abortion by imposing severe restrictions. “The true, and often overt, intent of legislators behind pretextual laws like [Louisiana’s], which have no demonstrable medical benefit, is to severely restrict, and ultimately eliminate, access to legal abortion under the guise of patient welfare,” the Democrats wrote.

The current court may disagree.

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