"Pro-Choice Clinic Escort" by Lorie Shaull / CC BY-SA 2.0

One Supreme Court Decision Could Shut Down Abortion Clinics in 15 States

May 13, 2020

By Dennis Carter

The U.S. Supreme Court’s upcoming decision in June Medical Services v. Russo could give anti-choice politicians in 15 states the green light to drastically reduce abortion access.

If the conservative justices ignore precedent to rule in favor of Louisiana’s admitting privileges requirement, a wave of laws designed to shutter abortion clinics under the guise of patient safety could sweep large swaths of the South and Midwest, according to an analysis released Monday by the Guttmacher Institute. The Court’s ruling will come just four years after justices struck down parts of a similar anti-choice law in Texas that shuttered nearly half of the state’s abortion providers.

Guttmacher estimates that the fallout of the abortion rights case could affect more than 19 million women of reproductive age across these 15 states: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Mississippi, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, and West Virginia.

These states could follow Louisiana’s lead by forcing abortion providers to secure admitting privileges at nearby hospitals, a kind of targeted regulation of abortion providers (TRAP) law. Many abortion providers are unable to comply with the medically unnecessary requirement, since hospitals across the United States refuse because of their religious affiliation or out of a desire to avoid political attacks from anti-choice activists.

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