In a 5 to 4 vote, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a Louisiana abortion restriction law, which would require physicians performing abortions to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital. Democratic legislators in Florida are praising the decision in the June Medical Services v. Russo case, but they are also warning the fight for reproductive rights is far from over in our state.
“For decades, legislators across this country have been working to destroy access to abortion, state by state, law by law,” Orlando state representative Anna Eskamani said. “The Louisiana law is one part in a coordinated effort to overturn Roe v. Wade and make abortion inaccessible to everyone and we’ve seen this same dangerous anti-abortion agenda here in Florida, too. The Court’s decision means that people in Louisiana will continue to have access to abortion care. For years, the Supreme Court held admitting privileges laws unconstitutional and today the Court stepped in — yet again — to block this clinic shutdown law.”
Members of the Florida House Democratic Caucus provided the following statements:
Representative Margaret Good (D- Sarasota) stated: “Today’s decision was a major victory, but also a reminder that we cannot let up in this fight. Too many women, especially women of color and low-income women, face legal barriers that make it effectively impossible for them to access safe legal abortion. We need to continue working to ensure that reproductive rights are a reality for all.”
Representative Cindy Polo (D-Hialeah) added: “Today, the highest court struck down a Louisiana law designed to chip away at a woman’s reproductive rights. Here in Florida, we have watched Republicans in our state legislature try to strip away those protections. That’s exactly why down ballot races matter and why it is so crucial to preserve what should be an undeniable right.”
Representative Fentrice Driskell (D- Tampa) stated: “Today’s Supreme Court ruling striking down Louisiana’s attempt to restrict admitting privileges for doctors is a victory for reproductive justice advocates across this country and should serve as a deterrent to any state that might contemplate enacting similar legislation. We must remain vigilant in protecting the constitutionally guaranteed right to choose by continually advocating for women’s equality and empowerment. Our unrelenting fight in Tallahassee against government overreach through the regulation of women’s bodies will remain grounded in Floridians’ intolerance to any attempts by the Legislature to pursue the same wrongheaded path.”
Representative Susan Valdés (D- Tampa) added: “This is a tremendous victory for women’s access to health care. Restrictions like those struck down by the Supreme Court today do nothing to protect the health and safety of women. They serve only to restrict a woman’s constitutionally protected access to reproductive care. I applaud the court for holding steadfast to decades of legal precedent asserting that access to abortion is constitutionally protected. This is a win for women.”
Representative Anna Eskamani (D-Orlando) added: “We must remain vigilant for reproductive health, rights, and justice. We must focus our energy on advancing a future where people can access an abortion when they need it with love and support — not shame and judgement. Now is the time to work together to build the world where each one of us has the power, resources, and support to care for ourselves, our families, and our communities.”