LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — After hearing oral arguments last week, the U.S. Supreme Court is now considering whether a Louisiana law requiring doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at a local hospital can stand.
President of NARAL Pro-Choice America Ilyse Houge said the court’s current makeup is a major factor determining whether these types of restrictions will become easier to push through in states such as Arkansas. She said when the Supreme Court heard an identical case in 2016, it ruled in favor of a Texas clinic.
“This is the first abortion case that the court will hear with Brett Kavanaugh sitting, and I think we’re going to see whether he not only respects women and our individual decision making and our health but also whether he accepts precedent,” Houge said.
The Supreme Court is expected to issue a final decision on the case in June.
Houge said the case is significant because it could give the green light to other states to push similar laws.
“If the court allows this law to stand, what it means is that states around the country could start shutting clinics down,” she said.
According to the Guttmacher Institute, as of March 1, a slew of new abortion restrictions went into effect in Arkansas, including a ban on the use of telemedicine to administer medication used to terminate a pregnancy and the requirement that women receive in-person counseling and wait 72 hours before the procedure is performed.