By Ariane de Vogue
The Supreme Court Thursday blocked a Louisiana abortion access law from going into effect for now, dealing a victory to opponents of the law who argued it could decimate “safe and legal” abortions in the state.
The order was 5-4 with Chief Justice John Roberts joining the court’s four liberals voting for the stay. New conservative Justice Brett Kavanaugh wrote a dissent.
Louisiana’s Unsafe Abortion Protection Act has been blocked since its enactment in 2014, and like a similar Texas law the court previously struck down, requires a doctor to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the facility where the abortion is performed.
Louisiana argues that the law is necessary to provide a higher level of physician competence, but critics say there is no medical justification for the law and it amounts to a veiled attempt to unlawfully restrict abortion.
The Supreme Court said in 2016 that the restrictions in the Texas law constituted an undue burden on a woman’s right to seek an abortion.
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