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The US Supreme Court rejects a law that cuts the right to abortion

John Roberts, President of the US Supreme Court (MANDEL NGAN / AFP)
John Roberts, President of the US Supreme Court (MANDEL NGAN / AFP)

The United States Supreme Court ruled Monday that the law restricting abortion in Louisiana, which would have left only one clinic operating in the entire state, violates the Constitution. 

This decision is an unexpected victory for abortion advocates, thanks to a sentence handed down by a court controlled by conservative judges.

This is the third setback for the Trump administration, after the highest judicial body defended the labor rights of the LGBTQ collective and stopped the deportation of the so-called "dreamers", the young people who entered this country with their parents as migrants when they were just children.

As in the two previous resolutions, the result in the case of Louisiana was produced by five votes to four, with the president of the Supreme Court, John Roberts, adding his vote to the four liberal magistrates.

The sentence annuls the law approved in Louisiana in 2014, which required that any doctor who offered services to terminate the pregnancy have the privilege of admission to a hospital within a radius of 48 kilometers (an extreme that made such interventions impossible, since most hospitals do not want to get involved in such a controversial issue). 

If applied, there would have been only one center in Louisiana to serve the 10,000 women who request that care each year in the state.

The petition to repeal that legislation was filed by two doctors and a clinical assistant. They argued in the lawsuit that this regulation was an undue obligation for women to access abortion.

Roberts' transfuguism represents a blow to the conservatives, especially to the evangelical groups that had harbored the hope of a radical turn in jurisprudence on this matter, in the first case to reach the high court since President Donald Trump obtained the appointment of two judges appointed by him.

Roberts thwarted the U-turn and argued that Louisiana law cannot be upheld since the court ruled in 2016 against similar Texas regulations. 
"The legal doctrine requires us, in the absence of special circumstances, to treat the two cases in a similar way."
he wrote, justifying his vote.
"Louisiana law imposes a burden on abortion access as severe as Texas, for the same reasons. For this reason, this other law cannot be ratified under our precedents.”
The president of the court objected in 2016 to upholding Texas law. On this occasion he acted due to the antecedent.
There are more changes. When the Texas case was resolved, Judge Anthonny Kennedy, who could tip the scales, was then in court and opted to overturn the law. 

His position is held today by Brett Kavanaugh, a much more conservative jurist. Both he and Neil M. Gorsuch, another judge nominated by Trump, positioned themselves with the other two Republican magistrates.

In 2016, the Justice Department in the Barack Obama administration positioned itself against Texas. On this occasion, the Trump executive supported Louisiana.

Anti-abortion groups insisted on the need for Trump to win a second term to put more conservative judges who are pro-life. "This is great news for pro-abortion groups," experts and activists agreed.


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