Critical abortion access case to be heard by Supreme Court on March 4

By Kate Smith

/ CBS News

Louisiana could lose abortion access

The Supreme Court just announced it would hear oral arguments for June Medical Services v. Gee, a critically important abortion access case out of Louisiana, on March 4, 2020, according to a schedule released by the court on Tuesday afternoon. The court will devote an entire day to the case.

At the center of the case is Act 620, Louisiana's "Unsafe Abortion Protection Act," a 2014 state law not currently in effect. Similar to a Texas law that was struck down by the Supreme Court in 2016, Louisiana's law requires doctors performing abortions to have admitting privileges at a hospital no more than 30 miles away. If the law is allowed to be implemented, all of Louisiana's abortion clinics would close, as first reported last month by CBS News.

"All eyes must be on the Supreme Court come March. This case will have lasting consequences for abortion access across the country," Nancy Northup, president and chief executive officer of the Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR), said in an email statement to CBS News on Tuesday. "Many states have been openly defying Supreme Court decisions in an effort to criminalize abortion. At this critical juncture, the Court needs to set those states straight."

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On Monday evening, CRR filed its opening brief, the first of four documents that will be filed ahead of the March arguments. CRR represents June Medical Services, a clinic that does business as Hope Medical Group and is one of the state's last three abortion providers. Louisiana's Attorney General's office, which is responsible for defending the law, has until December 26 to file its response.

A spokesperson for the Louisiana Attorney General office did not immediately respond to an email requesting comment.

First published on November 26, 2019 / 1:22 PM

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