The US Supreme Court rejected conservative abortion laws in the southern state of Louisiana. Opponents of abortion expected the Supreme Court to pass the law with two conservative judges appointed by President Trump. It was the first abortion process that the new court dealt with.
Louisiana law requires that abortions be performed only by doctors with formal access rights to the hospital within a 20-mile radius of the abortion site. That is, they are admitted with their patient to a hospital as close as possible if complications arise.
In practice, abortion doctors almost never get it right. The procedure is difficult and many hospitals do not allow patients with complications of an abortion for religious reasons. According to women’s groups, two out of three abortion clinics are expected to close due to the controversial law.
Supporters point out that it is essential for women’s health to quickly reach a nearby hospital. Opponents have argued that admissions after abortions are rare and that women can always go to a hospital if they have medical problems. The hospitals themselves prefer not to burn their fingers in discussions.
The two Trump-appointed judges, Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, voted in favor of the law today, significantly raising the bar for women to abort. However, conservative chief justice John Roberts, with his four fellow liberal judges, considered the new law a burden for women with a desire for abortion. The law was rejected by five to four.
Restrictive abortion laws have been introduced in several Republican states in recent years, in anticipation of approval by a conservative-dominated Supreme Court. Two years ago, the court rejected a similar law in Texas.