Could This Louisiana Case Lead to an Overturn of Roe vs. Wade?

The U.S. Supreme Court is back in session, and has determined it will hear arguments in a case from Louisiana that could be a bellwether of how the Court will determine abortion cases moving forward.

The case, June Medical Services v. Gee, involves a Louisiana law that requires any doctor performing an abortion to have admitting privileges at a hospital nearby. The law is similar to a Texas law that was struck down (Whole Woman’s Health vs. Hellerstedt) by the Supreme Court three years ago. But both pro-life and pro-choice Americans are watching to see if the outcome will be different with two new justices, Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh.

To discuss the case, and its implications for the future of Roe vs. Wade, Steven Aden, Chief Legal Officer at Americans United for Life, stopped by The Drew Mariani Show last week.

Aden explained what exactly the court will consider in hearing arguments for this case, saying, “The Supreme Court will decide this term whether the Louisiana law is the same, different enough from the Texas law, or whether it should overturn the Hellerstedt decision and go a  different way. Or even, conceivably, if the Supreme Court is ready, willing, and able to overturn Roe vs. Wade and return the question of abortion to the states.”

“The other half is the cross petition filed by the State of Louisiana against the abortion provider,” he continued. “And that one was also granted, so the Supreme Court will decide the questions presented by Louisiana also, which is: Why do we assume that abortionists like June Medical can stand in the shoes of their patients and challenge the constitutionality of the very health and safety laws that are designed to protect patients from them?”

Some may wonder why it would be necessary for an abortion provider to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital when the abortions will not be performed at that location. Aden pointed out that it is a matter of protecting women and children in the event of an emergency.

He said, “Statistics that even the abortion industry agrees with say that .3%, and it might be as high as 1%, of abortions end up in the hospital. So if you’ve got somewhere between 1 in 100 or 1 in 300 abortions ending up in a hospital in any given year, and you have thousands of abortions being done in that state in any given year, then obviously you’ve got dozens of women being transported to the hospital every year for abortion complications.”

“I think it’s reasonable and I think it’s common sense that the state requires that abortionists cannot abandon their patients anymore. Right? They say, ‘Hey, if something goes wrong, just go to the ER. They’ll fix it up for you.’ That’s what they do now, and it’s not acceptable.”

Speaking on the future of abortion laws in America, Aden expressed optimism that the current justices serving on the Supreme Court will rule differently than justices have in the past.

On the possibility of Roe vs. Wade being overturned in the future, Aden said, “It’s not only possible, but it seems likely to me. The reason is, of course, because now you have, for the first time in 25 years a majority on the Supreme Court that’s no longer emotionally or legally tied to having Roe vs. Wade on the books.”

“So I think they’re going to start the dialogue. I feel good about the Louisiana law as a common sense and modest proposal to protect women and children in Louisiana. And I think it will be upheld. But I think that they’ll start spilling some ink about the problems with Roe and how it’s been unworkable in the courts and in the states. It keeps coming up again, and again, and again. And by and large the Constitution has always left the question of the state regulation of medicine to the states. Abortion is an exception to that general rule.”

Listen to the full conversation with Steven Aden below:

The Drew Mariani Show airs weekdays from 3:00 – 6:00 p.m. Eastern/noon – 3:00 p.m. Pacific on Relevant Radio® and the Relevant Radio App.