• Jackie Tosto

The Supreme Court Upholds Abortion Access

Today, the Supreme Court handed down a victory for Reproductive Justice advocates everywhere in the June Medical Case. The Court, in a 5-4 decision with Chief Justice Roberts in the majority, chose to strike down a Louisiana law regarding admitting privileges, preventing the closure of 2 of the 3 abortion clinics in Louisiana. The admitting privilege restriction at issue required that doctors who perform abortions be able to personally provide medical services at a nearby hospital. Proponents of such laws argue they are necessary for the health and safety of women seeking abortions. In reality, few abortions require hospitalization, and doctors who perform abortions often are unable to obtain admitting privileges from nearby hospitals due to political views on the nature of their work.

However, we note that the outcome of this case should not have even been a question. This case was nearly identical to the Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt case in 2016, in which the Court ruled against a practically identical Texas law requiring admitting privileges. Therefore, the Supreme Court clearly should have followed its recent precedent. Yet four justices pushed to reverse a decision the Court had decided fewer than five years ago. This shows how fragile our reproductive rights are, and how important it is that Trump is not able to appoint another Supreme Court Justice.

Also today, the Supreme Court upheld a funding requirement for foreign non-profit organizations in USAID v. Alliance for Open Society International. The Court ruled that any foreign affiliate of a U.S. based non-profit must have a policy explicitly opposing prostitution and sex trafficking in order to receive federal funding. This will force non-profits to choose between receiving necessary funding to combat the spread of HIV while further marginalizing sex workers, and providing vital services with less funding while ensuring that sex workers feel safe.

SisterLove, as a Reproductive Justice organization, firmly believes that all people must have the power and resources necessary to make their own decisions about their bodies, to create and choose their families, and to reproduce their communities as a whole – all with dignity, self-determination, and genuine support. This means that people who can get pregnant must have the power to access affordable abortion services. However, Reproductive Justice spreads further than access to abortion services. The safety of sex workers is necessary for reproductive freedom to be available for all.

Today is a good day but the fight for true reproductive equality is not over.

To read about the June Medical admitting privileges case, click here

To read about the funding requirement for foreign NGOs, click here

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