In late February, Louisiana women were dealt an unfortunate hand when the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit implemented a law that forced four of the five available Louisiana abortion clinics in the state to close. As of today, though, the Supreme Court has handed down a brief that allowed those clinics to reopen, reports Ian Millhiser of ThinkProgress.
The law that was just lifted forced clinics to close by stating that physicians could not perform abortions unless they had “admitting privileges” at a nearby hospital. These types of laws — the handiwork of the anti abortion group Americans United for Life — are growing in popularity. Americans United for Life is a Washington based group that has close ties with high-powered conservative legislators.
It was almost a unanimous order for the Supreme Court to suspend the law. The only Justice to dissent — at least explicitly — was Justice Clarence Thomas, who recently broke his ten-year silence in order to argue in favor of those who have committed acts of domestic violence to still be able to purchase and own firearms.
Millhiser commented in his article that the surprising thing in this situation is not that the Supreme Court suspended the law, but that the Fifth Circuit thought that they could get away with it in the first place. Texas, which has tried to pass similar laws, was the recipient of stays handed down by the Supreme Court that would prevent the law from remaining in effect.
Lately, it seems that women are getting the short end of the stick more and more with regards to oppressive anti-abortion laws that violate their rights to not only receive an abortion if they want one, but to receive affordable, safe healthcare. From the defunding of Planned Parenthood to aggressive anti-abortion laws like these, it is becoming hard to contest the argument that lawmakers, specifically Republican lawmakers, do not have the best interests of women in mind.
With this new decision from the Supreme Court, though, coupled with their past decisions to stay aggressive bills like these, there is a little bit of hope. At least certain lawmakers are willing to listen to reason and are able to recognize when things have gone too far. For now, the women of the state will have access to all five of the Louisiana abortion clinics, and, hopefully, that access will remain.
Learn more about the consequences of this law in the video below, courtesy of wochit news via YouTube.