The Supreme Court of the United States has ruled against a harsh Louisiana abortion law that would have ultimately resulted in the entire state population becoming dependent on a single doctor to provide the procedure.
In a pleasantly surprising twist, Chief Justice John Roberts sided with the liberal faction of the court in a 5-4 vote to temporarily halt the legislation, which would have required doctors performing the procedure to have admitting privileges to a hospital within 30 miles of their clinic.
Unsurprisingly, recently sworn-in Justice Brett Kavanaugh, who was accused of sexual assault by multiple women, voted in favor of the legislation and wrote the dissenting opinion.
The decision comes only days after the president railed against the procedure in his historically long State of the Union address and called on Congress to pass legislation banning late-term abortions.
“To defend the dignity of every person, I am asking Congress to pass legislation to prohibit the late-term abortion of children, who can feel pain in a mother’s womb. Let us work together to build a culture that cherishes innocent life. And let us reaffirm a fundamental truth: All children, born and unborn, are made in the holy image of God.”Donald Trump, 2019 State of the Union address
His comments were spurred by the passing of legislation in New York that codifies a woman’s right to abortion, and allows for “late-term abortion” in the case of fetal inviability or imminent threat to the mother’s life.
Dr. Leana Wen, president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America and the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, spoke on Democracy Now! and addressed many of the misconceptions surrounding the legislation as well as the procedure itself.
She explained that 99% of abortions occur before 21 weeks, and that those which occur later are because of extreme circumstances, like “unsurvivable fetal anomalies.”
“I mean, I had a patient who found out in her second trimester that she was carrying twins that would be born without diaphragms or without ever developing their lungs. And so, if she had carried them to term, they would have suffocated upon birth.”Dr. Wen
According to Wen, roughly 25 million women are living in states where abortion is outlawed or banned.
However, the president’s ongoing war against Title X and the funding it provides for cancer screenings, STI tests, HIV diagnosis and care, as well as reproductive care, could still result in devastating consequences for women’s reproductive health.
Wen and other medical professionals believe it is very likely that the administration will respond to the ruling by issuing a gag order to doctors that will prevent them from providing patients with accurate information regarding the procedure and its availability, even going so far as to bar doctors from providing patients with referrals to abortion providers.
“I mean, think about the gag rule. How much outrage would there be if the Trump administration said to doctors, “You can’t tell your patients with diabetes anything about insulin”? Well, that’s what’s happening, that reproductive healthcare has specifically been singled out, siloed, stigmatized and attacked, when actually it’s the same thing as any other aspect of healthcare.”Dr. Wen
The president would be able to do so by withholding federal Title X funding from clinics that provide information to patients about abortion.
Iron Triangle Press continues to report on the current administration’s war against women and women’s rights.