Testing the Limits: June Medical vs. Gee

The Reproductive Justice Action Team is closely watching for the upcoming decision of the US Supreme Court in the case of June Medical Services v Gee. This case will test the limits of the Louisiana State law that requires hospital admitting privileges for doctors who perform abortions. It will also decide whether abortion clinics have standing to sue to maintain their existence. 

As many will recall, in the 2016 U.S. Supreme Court case of Whole Woman’s Health v Hellerstedt, a similar law was held unconstitutional. This case overturned a Texas State law, which was similar to the Louisiana State law contested in June Medical Services v Gee.

At a gathering of the DA France Women’s Caucus on February 18, Salli Swartz, Chair of the Action Team, described the history of abortion rights in the United States and the case law including the famous Roe vs Wade case which conservatives and pro-life activists are trying very hard to be overruled by the Supreme Court.

Her talk emphasized the Supreme Court’s interpretation of the 9th and 14th Amendments of the Bill of Rights that gave rise to the right of privacy thereby justifying women’s rights to abortions.  She also pointed out that the first State to ban abortions was Connecticut in 1821 and at the time of the adoption of the 14th Amendment in 1868, there were at least 38 “anti-abortion” States.

In her conclusion and pending the outcome of the June Medical Services vs. Gee case, she explained that the news is not good as many States have already enacted “trigger legislation” meaning that if Roe is overturned, abortion will immediately become illegal in such States.

On the upside, other States such as New York, California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Maryland, Nevada, Washington and others have passed legislation to maintain the legality of abortion even if Roe is overturned.

In short, we need to fight to maintain our rights.

For further information on “heartbeat laws” and the work of the Action Team, see our page on the Global Women’s Caucus webpage.