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Posted by: Jinsook Ohta on Jan 21, 2020

In late 2019, Lawyers Club of San Diego signed an amicus brief filed in the United States Supreme Court case, June Medical Services LLC., et. al. v. Gee. In doing so, Lawyers Club joined nearly 200 organizations and more than 700 individuals who signed U.S. Supreme Court amicus briefs voicing opposition to Louisiana’s Act 620, a law that would make it nearly impossible for Louisiana residents to obtain abortion care.

Twenty seven “friend of the court” briefs were filed, opposing medically unnecessary abortion restrictions that undermine access. Other signers include major medical associations like the American Medical Association and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, 197 members of Congress, attorneys general from 21 states and the District of Columbia, reproductive justice advocates, civil rights organizations, social science experts, the American Bar Association, prominent legal scholars and former judges, abortion providers, faith leaders, and close to 380 individuals sharing stories of their personal abortion experiences.

On October 4, 2019, the United States Supreme Court, in June Medical Services LLC., et. al. v. Gee, agreed to hear a challenge to Louisiana’s Act 620, the “Unsafe Abortion Protection Act,” which passed in June 2014. In part, Act 620, requires, “[E]very physician who performs or induces an abortion shall ‘have active admitting privileges at a hospital that is located not further than thirty miles from the location at which the abortion is performed or induced.’”

The justices’ announcement that they will weigh in on the constitutionality of the Louisiana law comes less than three and a half years after the United States Supreme Court struck down a similar law from Texas by a vote of 5-3. Texas had tried to defend the law by arguing that the admitting-privileges requirement was intended to protect the health of pregnant women. Justice Kennedy joined the court’s four more liberal justices in holding that the state had not provided any evidence to show that the admitting-privileges requirement actually served that interest. June Medical Services LLC., et. al. v. Gee will be the first case heard by the Supreme Court challenging to abortion rights since the appointment of Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

EDITOR NOTE: Oral arguments for June Medical Services LLC. are scheduled for March 4, 2020.

Jinsook (Jin) Ohta is a Supervising Deputy Attorney General at the California Department of Justice, Consumer Law Section and wrote this for Lawyers Club of San Diego’s Women’s Advocacy and Reproductive Justice Committee.


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