Pro-life leaders are condemning the United States Supreme Court’s decision striking down a Louisiana law that would help keep women safe by requiring fundamental medical safety measures to address abortion complications.
In a 5-4 decision issued Monday the Court struck down Louisiana’s Act 620, or the Unsafe Abortion Protection Act, handing the abortion industry a win by allowing abortion providers in the state to operate without hospital admitting privileges.
Pro-life groups, the Trump Administration and pro-life members of the U.S. Congress had filed amicus briefs in support of the law for the sake of safety of women seeking abortion.
Chief Justice John Roberts sided with the majority in June Medical Services v. Russo, going against his own past opinion in support of upholding a similar Texas law - Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt.
The majority opinion in June Medical Services v. Russo, authored by Justice Stephen Breyer, said that the Unsafe Abortion Protection Act was unconstitutional due to its similarity to Hellerstedt, struck down in 2016.
Breyer and the other four justices’ ruling against the pro-life Louisiana law said that it “offers no significant health benefit,” but “places a substantial obstacle in the path of women seeking abortion.” The SCOTUS majority said the law “will continue to make it impossible for abortion providers to obtain conforming privileges for reasons that have nothing to do with the State's asserted interests in promoting women's health and safety.”
"Women deserve better”
Pro-life advocates criticized the decision and maintain that requiring abortion providers – who have a financial stake in a woman’s abortion decision - to have admitting privileges is vital in keeping women safe.
"This lawsuit was, from the beginning, a demand of Big Abortion to preserve predatory profiteering over any genuine concern for a woman’s health,” said Heartbeat International President Jor-El Godsey. "Women deserve better.”
“It is deeply disappointing for a divided Supreme Court to, once again, affirm abortion ideology over what is clearly the common good and rightful care that women should receive,” Godsey said. “Fortunately, pregnancy help efforts across this country will continue to rise to meet the challenge to help and protect women, even as these justices fail to do so."
Tweet This: This lawsuit was from the beginning a demand of Big Abortion to preserve predatory profiteering over any genuine concern for women’s health
Heartbeat International’s General Counsel Danielle White concurred that the ruling does not uphold the safety of women.
“Today's decision is a disaster,” White said.
“Four years ago, in Hellerstedt, the Supreme Court ruled that abortion providers do not have to adhere to reasonable medical standards for the sake of women's health and safety,” she said. “Today, the Court doubled down on its position that abortion providers, who profit from women's abortion decisions, may provide women with subpar medical care.”
White continued, “Justice Roberts states, "I joined the dissent in Whole Woman’s Health and continue to believe that the case was wrongly decided. The question today however is not whether Whole Woman’s Health was right or wrong, but whether to adhere to it in deciding the present case." (emphasis added).”
“Today, the Court intentionally adheres to a wrongly decided case and puts women's health and safety in jeopardy,” stated White. “Women deserve better.”
The life of the mother is even more at risk
Heartbeat International Vice President Cindi Boston agreed.
“The Supreme Court decision today decided that the abortion industry matters more than women's health and sets a dangerous precedent for future cases,” she said. “Now, not only are babies being killed, but the life of the mother is even more at risk.”
“Pregnancy help centers set the standard for true compassion and support for women,” Boston continued, “because the life of a mother and her baby are worth more than an abortion facility’s bottom line.”
"Our system treats abortion differently than it treats legitimate health care”
Dr. Brent Boles, OB/GYN and author, who serves on the Heartbeat International Medical Advisory Council, commented on Facebook that the Louisiana law was about women’s safety.
"The Louisiana case in which the SCOTUS struck down a law was not a case about the right to have an abortion,” Boles said. “It was a case about whether or not a woman seeking an abortion has the same right to see a provider who is qualified and able to handle her care safely as she does when she sees any legitimate medical provider.
“The SCOTUS ruling emphasizes the fact that our system treats abortion differently than it treats legitimate health care,” he said. “Abortion is not healthcare."
The criticism continued across the pro-life community.
The National Institute of Family and Life Advocates (NIFLA) said in a statement that the ruling puts abortion industry profits before patients.
"This ruling allows the loophole enjoyed by abortionists to remain open at the expense of the women the abortion industry claims to serve,” said NIFLA President and founder Thomas Glessner. “All states, including Louisiana, have an interest in regulating abortion and a duty to protect women. Unfortunately, today’s SCOTUS decision denies this critical principle."
Women's safety sacrificed on the altar of abortion access
The ruling ignores the damage abortion does to women, Priests for Life said in a statement.
“The health and safety of women seeking abortion has again been sacrificed on the altar of ‘access,’” said Father Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life. “This disappointing ruling underscores the blind eye the abortion cartel continues to turn to the damage abortion does to women.”
Women injured in abortion facilities typically left to fend for themselves when complications occur
National pro-life group Susan B. Anthony List called the ruling a “bitter disappointment,” and said it “demonstrates once again the failure of the Supreme Court to allow the American people to protect the well-being of women from the tentacles of a brutal and profit-seeking abortion industry.”
“In Louisiana and across the nation, the abortion industry has once again refused to regulate itself – even defying public health directives during a pandemic,” SBA List President Marjorie Dannenfelser said via a news release. “Abortionists and the facilities they operate demonstrate an appalling record of botched abortions, unsanitary conditions, and other serious violations.”
“Women injured in these facilities are typically left to fend for themselves when complications inevitably occur,” she added. “State lawmakers therefore have the right and the duty to protect their citizens, and our courts have a duty to respect that. The overwhelming majority of Americans agree: Abortion businesses deserve no special exemption from the same standards that apply to facilities that address legitimate health needs.”
Aid and comfort to the genocidal abortion industry
Lila Rose, founder and president of Live Action, said in a statement that by the very act of bringing a case against Louisiana’s law, “the abortion industry reasserted its obsession with profit, at any cost.”
“Today’s unjust ruling is a reminder that the lives of an entire people group have been wrongly placed in the hands of nine lawyers, several of whom abuse their power to violate the human right to life,” she said. “With this decision, the Supreme Court has once again provided aid and comfort to the genocidal abortion industry which profits from the pain and fear of mothers and the deaths of their children.”
The Supreme Court put women’s lives at risk by refusing to allow states to regular abortion, a statement from Students for Life of America (SFLA) said.
“Despite the fact that the abortionists of Louisiana have a terrible track record, their desire to avoid making a plan for emergencies trumped the obvious social good of saving women’s lives,” stated SFLA’s Kristan Hawkins. “Today’s decision prioritizes ending preborn life over saving a mother’s life and allows disreputable hacks to stay in business.”
SCOTUS decision leaves women vulnerable
National Right to Life issued a release expressing disappointment and saying the High Court was “wrong” in the decision.
“The Supreme Court’s decision to strike down Louisiana’s law leaves women vulnerable,” said Carol Tobias, president of National Right to Life.
“Pro-abortion groups have made it clear that they care more about their bottom line than the women they claim to serve,” Tobias said. “If the abortion industry were really concerned about women, they would want an admitting privileges requirement in order to reassure women that they are getting good care.”
The ruling “has left women vulnerable to abortionists who travel from state to state, dumping women on emergency rooms when things go wrong,” a statement from Operation Rescue said.
"Once again the U.S. Supreme Court has chosen to betray the trust of women, leaving them defenseless against what is tantamount to patient abandonment and potentially fatal breaks in their continuity of care by what we call traveling 'Fly-By-Night' abortionists," said Operation Rescue President Troy Newman. "Abortionists oppose hospital privilege requirements because they know they cannot meet the high standards hospitals require, and because they understand that their botched abortions pose a liability that hospitals are hesitant to assume."
"A tragic day for Louisiana and for women who deserve more"
Americans United for Life (AUL) said in a release the group was shocked by the tragic Supreme Court decision striking down health protections for women.
"The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision strengthens abortion businesses at the cost of women’s lives,” said Catherine Glenn Foster, president & CEO for AUL. “Chief Justice John Roberts confirms with today’s decision that threats against the Court work.”
“When Sen. Chuck Schumer’s threatened the Court and its justices, John Roberts forcefully asserted his independence,” Foster said. “Today’s decision suggests his bark is louder than his bite. Today is a tragic day for Louisiana and for women who deserve more, and a disastrous moment in American history for our once-independent judiciary.”
40 Days for Life, President and CEO Shawn Carney issued scathing remarks about the Supreme Court and like others cited Roberts in particular in criticizing the decision.
“The dehumanization of vulnerable Americans is exactly what we've come to expect from the nation's highest court,” Carney said. “From slavery to civil rights abuses to abortion, the Supreme Court has long dehumanized our most innocent brothers and sisters. It's America at its worst.”
“Today, the Supreme Court ruled that health and safety regulations governing Louisiana's abortion facilities are unconstitutional,” he continued. “As the Court's deciding vote, Chief Justice John Roberts admitted he disagrees with the ruling...but sided with it anyway to go along with the Court's historical precedent.”
Carney added that, “This betrayal will cost countless unborn babies their lives and further restrict how states can regulate a highly unregulated and dirty abortion industry.”