Leading the Charge

One year ago, in June 2016, the Center for Reproductive Rights won the most significant abortion-access case at the Supreme Court in decades. The landmark Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt decision struck down a Texas law that was designed to close most of the state’s abortion providers by imposing medically unnecessary restrictions and costly red tape.

This resounding victory sent a powerful message to opponents of abortion: deceptive laws that single out clinics for regulations under the pretense of “protecting” women’s health are unconstitutional. Once again, the highest court in the land reaffirmed a woman’s fundamental right to access safe, legal abortion.

The fight did not end there. Backed by Whole Woman’s Health, the Center has begun to dismantle thousands of sham laws in states across the country. In the past year, we have succeeded in permanently blocking similar clinic shutdown laws in Mississippi, Oklahoma, and Tennessee.

Now, we’re taking the fight to the state of Louisiana, where we plan to take down more than 1,000 anti-abortion restrictions.

Despite last June’s decisive court ruling, Louisiana continues to impose regulations that burden abortion care providers with more than 1,000 medically unnecessary restrictions. These regulations have caused the number of clinics to drop from eleven to just three, putting innumerable women at risk of serious harm.

In April a federal district court permanently blocked Louisiana’s attempt at a Texas-style shutdown law—but the state continues to push back, appealing the ruling last month. If Louisiana is successful, the law would force two of the three remaining clinics in the state to close.

This law is no accident—it’s part of a coordinated national strategy to ban abortion, one restriction at a time. Since 2010, anti-choice politicians have teamed up with extremist groups to quietly pass more than 330 new laws designed to shut down clinics, shame women, and undermine our constitutional rights.

Louisiana’s clinic shutdown law is just the tip of the iceberg. As clinics continue to be targeted across the country under a Trump administration, we stand ready to fight back against any law that seeks to recklessly strip women of their rights. Anti-choice politicians take note: we are watching. And we will not just persist, we will prevail.

 

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