Planned Parenthood of SW Oregon
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News Release
Supreme Court Protects Access to Abortion in Louisiana -- for Now - 06/29/20

Today, the Supreme Court struck down a medically unnecessary Louisiana abortion restriction in a 5-4 decision in June Medical Services v. Russo. This means access to safe, legal abortion in Louisiana is protected for now, but attacks on our reproductive rights continue. The court ruled that Louisiana’s abortion restriction, which is identical to one it struck down four years ago in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, cannot stand under that precedent — it is unconstitutional to impose medically unnecessary laws that burden a person’s right to safe, legal abortion.

Though today’s ruling is a victory for access to abortion in Louisiana, the onslaught of attacks on our healthcare access are far from over. Sixteen other cases on abortion access are still one step away from the Supreme Court — and any one of them opens the door to restrict or nullify Roe v. Wade altogether. For Black people in particular, there can be no reproductive freedom until there is freedom to live without fear of persecution or violence. Had the court allowed the state’s restriction to stand, more than 850,000 women of reproductive age in Louisiana — a quarter of whom are Black women — would find abortion virtually inaccessible. 

“Today’s decision reinforces that abortion is essential and that reproductive health care is essential,” says Lisa Gardner, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Southwestern Oregon. “It’s a matter of having control over our bodies, our lives and our futures. All of us deserve to have access to reproductive health care — including abortion.”  

The Louisiana law would have required abortion providers to have the ability to admit patients at local hospitals. The court struck this law down because these requirements are medically unnecessary and will force abortion clinics to shutter, rendering abortion inaccessible throughout Louisiana.

Though we have a victory in this one case, the onslaught of attacks on our access to health care is far from over. Far too many people — particularly people of color and people with low incomes — already live in a world where access to abortion is nearly impossible. And, even in a public health crisis, politicians are still fighting at the Supreme Court to restrict access to birth control and to eliminate protections for people with pre-existing conditions.

“We are in the middle of a public health crisis, and people need more access to health care, not less,” says Anne Udall, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood Columbia Willamette. “We’ve already seen the devastating consequences when states used the COVID-19 crisis to restrict access to abortion, even temporarily. Restrictions to abortion forced people to drive unthinkable distances and put themselves at risk, if they were able to access health care at all.”

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Planned Parenthood of Southwestern Oregon (PPSO) has been dedicated to providing expert reproductive health care and sexuality education in Southwestern Oregon for over 54 years.  PPSO provides more than 30,000 patient visits each year at five health centers.  PPSO is also the region’s most respected provider of medically accurate sexuality education for young people and adults, as well as training programs for professionals who work with youth and families.  Education and training programs make over 8,000 contacts each year, transforming the lives of young people in southwestern Oregon.  PPSO’s essential health services include breast and cervical cancer screenings, well-woman annual exams, birth control, abortion care, STI prevention, testing and treatment, pregnancy testing, PrEP (Pre-exposure prophylaxis), HPV vaccinations and vasectomies. For more information, visit www.ppsworegon.org. 

 

View more news releases from Planned Parenthood of SW Oregon.