Historical ruling by US Supreme Court strikes down restrictions on abortion in Louisiana

epa07836145 (FILE) - File Photo - US Supreme Court EPA-EFE/ERIK S. LESSER

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The U.S. Supreme Court defended abortion rights in a major ruling on Monday by striking down a Louisiana law placing restrictions on doctors who perform the procedure, leaving anti-abortion advocates and the White House bitterly disappointed.

The 5-4 ruling, with conservative Chief Justice John Roberts joining the four liberal justices, represented a victory for Shreveport-based abortion provider Hope Medical Group for Women in its challenge to the 2014 law. The measure had required doctors who perform abortions to have a sometimes difficult-to-obtain formal affiliation called “admitting privileges” at a hospital within 30 miles (48 km) of the clinic.

But Roberts indicated his vote was a reluctant one and signaled he may back other abortion restrictions in future cases, with some legal challenges already in the pipeline.

Two of the three clinics that perform abortions in Louisiana, a state of about 4.6 million people, would have been forced to close if the law had taken effect, according to lawyers for Hope Medical Group.

President Donald Trump’s administration supported Louisiana in the case.

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany described the decision as “unfortunate,” and took aim at the justices who sided with the majority.
“Instead of valuing fundamental democratic principles, unelected Justices have intruded on the sovereign prerogatives of state governments by imposing their own policy preference in favor of abortion to override legitimate abortion safety regulations,” McEnany said in a statement.

via Reuters / CNN

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