The Supreme Court announced Friday that they intend to take up a significant abortion case, the first reviewed by the Supreme Court with its newest member, Justice Brett Kavanaugh, on March 4, 2020.
The case, June Medical Services v. Gee, concerns a Louisiana law enacted in 2014 that orders hospital admitting privileges for abortion clinics within 30 miles of the facility.
The Center for Reproductive Rights, which is representing a Louisiana abortion clinic and two doctors, state that the law could end in the closing of nearly all of the abortion clinics in the state. They contend that the law dispropotionately burdens doctors at abortion clinics, which are frequently not located near a hospital that will grant them admitting privileges.
The Supreme Court had already placed a temporary block on the Louisiana law from going into effect.
The decision could also have broader implications for abortion rights, potentially threatening the interpretation of an “undue burden,” a benchmark used by the Supreme Court to determine whether or not a law restricting abortion is unconstitutional under Roe v. Wade.
Anti-abortion advocates enacted and promoted abortion laws they knew were assured to be challenged in court, in the expectations that the Supreme Court would consider one of the cases and conceivably deliver a death knell to abortion access throughout the country. This is the earliest such case to make it to the high court with both Trump justices in position, though due to its specificity it is unpropitious to reverse Roe v. Wade entirely, but could significantly break away at protections for abortion access.