For Immediate Release: June 29, 2020
NARAL Pro-Choice Washington’s Response to June Medical Services LLC v. Russo Decision
Washington — Today, the Supreme Court struck down June Medical Services LLC v. Russo, holding the line to keep clinics in Louisiana giving safe accessible abortion care. The Justices 5-4 vote saw the medically unnecessary admitting privileges law as unconstitutional. Though we have much to celebrate with the court’s decision, we continue to advocate for abortion care to be accessible to every body.
In response, NARAL Pro-Choice Washington’s Executive Director Kirsten Harris-Talley released the following statement:
“In this moment, as Covid-19 continues to deepen inequities to healthcare access and our country begins to truly grapple with the realities of racism; it is more important than ever to fight for reproductive freedom for every body; especially Black, Brown, and Indigenous people. The Supreme Court’s decision is a win for patients in Louisiana and we are pleased that the Court sided with truth and fact-based decision making. We stand with community to continue our work to hold the line for safe, accessible, and affordable abortion rights.” – Kirsten Harris-Talley, Executive Director, NARAL Pro-Choice Washington
“While we know this is victory, Chief Justice Roberts left room for more attacks on abortion with his decision. Reproductive freedom for all is still in the hands of too many anti-choice extremists who will stop at nothing to criminalize patients and doctors in order to push their agenda. There will be more attacks on reproductive freedom; which is why we will not back down. We will show them what we are capable of in November. Let’s protect and expand on our pro-choice majority in the legislature.” – Lillian Lanier, Political Director, NARAL Pro-Choice Washington
June Medical Service LLC v. Russo was a challenge to a dangerous Louisiana law that required doctors to have medically unnecessary admitting privileges at a nearby hospital. Abortion access is already extremely restricted in Louisiana, and upholding this legislation would have been a direct blow to patients and their families across the state and would have opened the doors to similarly restrictive laws across the country.
Four years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a near-identical ruling in the decision of Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, where a similar clinic shut down the law was struck down in Texas. Brett Kavanaugh was Trump’s most recent Court confirmation and we have now seen that he is voting in favor of overturning precedent and is out to attack abortion rights. These types of restrictive laws are based on disinformation and endorsed by the anti-choice movement that asserts that restrictions on abortion like this help women, even though there is no proven medical benefit to mandating hospital admitting privileges.
While NARAL Pro-Choice Washington is hopeful about the Court’s decision, we know we must continue to push for legislation and election of reproductive champions who will expand abortion access across the state. The right to abortion is not a real right without access to care and resources to pay for services. Black, Brown, Indigenous, low-income, LGBTQ+, and rural communities continue to face barriers to abortion access, regardless of abortion laws due to systemic racism, discrimination, stigma, economic hardship, and delays in care. NARAL Pro-Choice Washington is committed to continuing to advocate for all communities in Washington to get the timely reproductive, abortion and birthing care they need.
NARAL Pro-Choice Washington is the leading grassroots pro-choice advocacy organization in Washington state, and we believe that every woman should be able to make personal decisions about the full range of reproductive health options. NARAL Pro-Choice Washington works to protect every woman’s right to access the full range of reproductive health options, including preventing unintended pregnancy, bearing healthy children, and choosing legal abortion. NARAL Pro-Choice Washington is the state affiliate of NARAL Pro-Choice America.