One of the most important abortion cases in the Supreme Court has begun
The lawsuit that will determine the future access to abortion in Louisiana - and the rest of the country - is officially under way.
A 63-page opening brief was presented late Monday night by the Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR) in a case before the Supreme Court that could leave Louisiana without access to legal abortion and provide a roadmap for other anti-abortion states to join.
At the heart of the case - June Medical Services v. Gee - Act 620, the Louisiana "Unsafe Abortion Protection Act", a state law in 2014 that is not currently in force and requires doctors who perform abortions to receive certain privileges at a nearby hospital. If law enforcement is allowed, all Louisiana abortion clinics will be closed, CBC News first reported last month.
CRR represents June Medical Services v. Gee, a clinic that works with Hope Medical Group and is one of the last three abortion providers in the state. In the opening summary, CRR outlined its argument against Act 620, identifying two reasons why it believed the regulations should be repealed by the Supreme Court. First, the Civil Rights Committee argued that since the Supreme Court overturned the same type of restriction in the Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt in 2016, Louisiana's restrictions should be considered unconstitutional.
Second, the law "is unconstitutional even if we assume that the burden here is less than women's full health," according to the summary.
The Louisiana Attorney General's office, which will be responsible for arguing in favor of the law, did not submit its opening summary, which was due by December 26, according to a spokesperson for the office.
"Women deserve better than inefficient service providers who make a profit on people," said Louisiana Solicitor General Liz Murrill, in an email to CBS News late Monday. "Louisiana is not Texas, and our case is distinct from Hellerstedt; our facts, evidence and generally applied medical standards are different."