Louisianans can breathe a momentary sigh of relief. Last night, the US Supreme Court granted an emergency stay to block a law from taking effect that would have shut down some of the last three abortion clinics in Louisiana. The medically-unnecessary law, which is identical to one struck down as unconstitutional less than three years ago, requires physicians performing abortions to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital. The justices voted 5-4 to grant the stay, with a dissenting opinion from Justice Brett Kavanaugh.
Today, clinics are open and are seeing patients, but our work is not done. While this emergency stay was granted, the law still needs to go before the US Supreme Court. We need to keep the pressure going to overturn medically unnecessary laws that threaten access to care. We need justices who will fulfill the promises they made when they were confirmed. We need legislators who will boldly advocate for abortion access.
"The majority of Americans support access to abortion care, and do not want to see abortion made illegal," said Amy Irvin, executive director of the New Orleans Abortion Fund. "Now is the time to listen to people in our community who need abortions, talk to your friends, and to call your legislators. We must take advantage of this moment to build a grassroots movement to ensure access to abortion in our state."
The New Orleans Abortion Fund stands with the 1 million Louisianans of reproductive age who seek affordable healthcare. 1 in 4 U.S. women will have an abortion before she is 45. States cannot directly outlaw all abortions under Roe v. Wade. But that right means nothing if abortion is inaccessible as it so often is for rural patients, low-income people, women of color, and other individuals who are already disadvantaged by our healthcare system. Louisiana needs more healthcare, not extremism.