UPDATED: 2019/02/08 10AM
On Thursday February 7th, 2019, The Supreme Court blocked a Louisiana abortion access law from going into effect for now. The order was 5-4 with Chief Justice John Roberts joining the four liberals currently on the court for the stay. Justice Brett Kavanaugh wrote a dissent. The Center for Reproductive Rights, which represents doctors, patients, and clinics in Louisiana, asked the Supreme Court to put the law on hold before it was slated to go into effect on Friday, February 8th.
The law, Louisiana’s Unsafe Abortion Protection Act has been blocked since 2014 and require a doctor to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the facility where the abortion is performed. Louisiana argues that the law is important and necessary because it provides a higher level of physician competence. Critics of the law argue that there is no medical justification for the law. In fact, they say, it is simply a veiled attempt to unlawfully restrict abortion access for women.
In a similar case in Texas in 2016, the Supreme Court said that the law “constituted an undue burden on a woman’s right to seek abortion.” This ruling does not mean that the Supreme Court won’t eventually take up the case and uphold the law.