Yesterday, the Supreme Court released a decision in the June Medical vs. Russo case, striking down Louisiana’s medically unnecessary admitting privileges law. The ruling allows the state’s three remaining abortion clinics to continue to provide abortion care for the people of Louisiana.
The Court did what it was obligated to do — uphold its past decisions. Any other outcome would have been pure politics and would have had devastating implications for independent clinics, patients, and communities in Louisiana and the entire country. Admitting privilege laws do not improve the health or safety of people who have abortions. Instead, these laws do one thing: they force clinics to close, pushing care further out of reach for patients.
There are three abortion clinics in Louisiana; all three are independent. They are Hope Medical Group for Women in Shreveport, Delta Clinic of Baton Rouge, and Women’s Health Care Center in New Orleans. While this week’s decision is a victory for clinics and patients in Louisiana and beyond, the fight is not over. Clinics and advocates in Louisiana must continue to work hard to protect abortion access, as anti-abortion politicians in Louisiana have already put a state constitutional amendment on the November ballot in yet another attempt to devastate access to abortion in the state.
Time and time again, independent clinics show up to do what’s right for patients and communities, going all the way to the Supreme Court twice in the last four years. We are grateful for everything Abortion Care Network members and supporters have done and continue to do in order to defend abortion access for every person and community in the U.S. You can thank and support independent abortion clinics in Louisiana by donating here.
Abortion Care Network is committed to building a future where every person can get an abortion when and where they need it, free from violence, stigma, and discrimination. We envision a world where decisions about pregnancy, parenting, and sex and sexuality are met with trust, love, and support. We know every independent clinic will continue to work hard to provide care to their communities, and ACN is here to support them.
Today, Abortion Care Network wants to affirm:
You can still get an abortion.
This case was just one part of a decades-long attack on abortion access — politically- motivated restrictions and other unjust barriers continue to make it too difficult for many people to actually get an abortion, and it’s not always clear if, where, and how to get an abortion. No matter what barriers you’re facing, you have the right to seek and have abortions.
Communities need independent clinics.
Independent clinics, like the clinics in Louisiana and this case, provide the majority of abortion care in the U.S. and the majority of care later in pregnancy. 3 in 5 abortion patients in the U.S. get care from independent clinics. But medically unnecessary abortion restrictions — like the law struck down in this case — make it too hard for these clinics to stay open and for patients to get care.
When independent clinics close, entire communities lose access to essential reproductive health services, including abortion care. When there are fewer clinics, patients have to drive long distances, pay more out of pocket, take time off from work, find childcare, and navigate politically-imposed hurdles to get care. Communities need clinics, and people need more access to health care, not less.
Time and time again, independent clinics fight for their communities, our families, and our futures. They need our support.
Independent clinics show up to do what’s right for their patients and communities — in the clinic, in their state legislatures, during the COVID-19 pandemic — and twice in four years, independent clinics took this fight all the way to the Supreme Court. Independent clinics across our network also shared their expertise, knowledge, and first hand experiences with the Court in a joint amicus brief in this case. Abortion care providers fight these fights because they are dedicated to providing the compassionate, dignified care patients need.
Independent clinics are resilient. We know they will continue to do everything they can to stay open and provide compassionate, patient-centered care in their communities. But they are going to need all of our support — join us by helping us Keep Our Clinics.
We dream of a better world and we know we can get there, together. We will not stop fighting because:
Every person should be able to access the care they need to create the families they dream of.
The fight continues — hundreds of politically-motivated restrictions and other unjust barriers continue to make it too difficult for people to access abortion across the US, sometimes pushing care completely out of reach. Legality is not enough, and it never was.
Making true access a reality means eliminating all restrictions on abortion access, including bans on insurance coverage for abortion. It means supporting clinics so that they can provide care, treating abortion providers like other health care providers, stopping the spread of deception and misinformation, and ending the anti-abortion harassment and extremism targeting abortion providers.
We must dismantle systemic racism and white supremacy.
All forms of oppression are interconnected and interdependent; the problems are interrelated, and so are the solutions. Barriers to abortion access disproportionately fall on people who already struggle to access healthcare — Black, Indigenous, and communities of color, LGBTQ people, young people, and people living in poverty and with low-incomes. Louisiana, for example, has the highest maternal mortality rate in the U.S., with Black women being four times more likely than white women to die of pregnancy-related causes. Louisiana also has one of the highest incarceration rates in the US and in the world, with Black people, Indigenous people, and people of color vastly disproportionately likely to be imprisoned.
This decision also comes at a time when we are seeing uprisings and public reckonings across the country against police brutality, racism, and state-sanctioned violence that endanger every Black person in this country, including Black people who seek abortion care and Black abortion care providers. We fight for abortion access for the same reason we join those calling for an end to state-sanctioned police violence and the dismantling of white supremacy: it’s about our ability to live and thrive in our bodies and communities; to determine how we build our families; and our right to create and raise those families safely and with dignity.
The right to safety, health, and the ability to control our own lives and bodies is not a debate.
Our work to ensure abortion access is about far more than any one court case — it’s about our dignity, humanity, and ability to determine our own lives. To create a world in which each person is able to make their own decisions about pregnancy, parenting, and their bodies, gender, and sexuality, we must dismantle all forms of oppression.
We will stay focused on our vision, guided by our values, and we will not stop fighting until we reach justice and liberation for everyone.