US Supreme Court rules to uphold abortion rights

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Republican U.S. Sen. Susan Collins of ME is under renewed political scrutiny Monday for supporting the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, in the wake of the Court's divided decision that struck down a Louisiana law restricting abortion.

During that process, Kavanaugh was repeatedly asked about how he would decide in abortion cases, and the ME senator said she did not believe he would vote to overturn Roe v. Wade.

Roberts, who dissented in the 2016 case, noted the Supreme Court's precedent in his concurring opinion: "The Louisiana law imposes a burden on access to abortion just as severe as that imposed by the Texas law, for the same reasons".

In his decision, Roberts indicated he sided with liberal justices exclusively out of respect to court precedent. The high court agreed with a lower District Court ruling that the state's law posed a major obstacle to women seeking abortions, did not provide any significant health benefits and imposed an "undue burden" on a woman's right to choose to undergo an abortion.

Meanwhile, Missouri's admitting-privilege requirement has survived several court challenges, most recently when U.S. District Judge Brian Wimes in Kansas City refused to block the law.

In a statement, Collins said she supported the court's ruling, and said Kavanaugh's dissent doesn't mean he supports overturning Roe.

"The Louisiana law was directed toward the simple goal of protecting women from danger by placing the most minimal restrictions possible on an abortion industry that insists on laissez-faire for itself and its profits", said Moore, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC).

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In May, it refused to consider reinstating Indiana's ban on abortions performed because of fetal disability or the sex or race of the fetus while upholding the state's requirement that fetal remains be buried or cremated after an abortion.

Abortion rights supporters were quick to hail today's decision but cautioned that abortion rights remain under attack.

He said his decision to join with the progressives in the case, June Medical Services v Russo, was strictly on institutional grounds, and not because he believed the Louisiana law was unconstitutional.

When President Trump appointed Justice Neil Gorsuch and Justice Brett Kavanaugh to the court, conservatives had a 5-4 edge with Chief Justice Roberts, Justice Samuel Alito, and Justice Clarence Thomas. Justice Stephen Breyer wrote on behalf of the majority.

This then, in turn, constitutes an undue burden on a woman's constitutional right to seek an abortion, they said. When Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy retired in 2018, Trump nominated Kavanaugh.

Before the opinion, 11 states had some form of admitting privileges laws in effect, according to the Guttmacher Institute, formerly an affiliate of Planned Parenthood. Those states are Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Indiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Texas.

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