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Supreme Court of the United States

Abortion Providers Shouldn’t Be Able to Speak for Women

By Maureen Collins posted on:
January 21, 2020

Who speaks for women? You would assume that it would be, well, women. But for decades, the abortion industry has claimed this authority while protecting its own interests—which, as it turns out, are often at odds with women’s health and safety.

In March, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments in June Medical Services v. Gee. This case could alter the way abortion providers have used “women’s rights” to challenge laws that regulate the work they do.


Hijacking ‘Women’s Rights’

The case gets its name from June Medical Services—just one of several poorly run abortion facilities in the state of Louisiana. And “poorly run” is a gross understatement.

Several clinics were cited for not keeping their facilities clean, reusing single-use equipment with multiple patients, and even allowing unqualified staff members to assist with abortions. Meanwhile, women have been left in life-threatening, dangerous situations because of the terrible practices that occur at Louisiana abortion facilities.

Legislators in Louisiana knew that they needed to take action to protect women. So, they passed Act 620.

Act 620 protects women who are undergoing an abortion by requiring that people who perform abortions be able to admit and treat their patients at nearby hospitals. That’s not an unreasonable requirement. In fact, Louisiana law already requires doctors at ambulatory surgical centers to have admitting privileges – so why should abortionists be treated differently?

This law helps ensure that doctors performing abortions will be competent because hospitals screen doctors for competence before granting them privileges. And it also helps women because it ensures that abortionists who satisfy a hospital’s competency screening are able to treat their patients at the hospital if complications occur during the procedure.

This is common sense. But abortionists want to be exempted from this practice and are opposing the Louisiana law. Even worse: they’re hijacking the voices of women to protect their own interests.


Abortionists Don’t Speak for Women

For years, abortionists have used women’s legal interests to challenge laws that protect women’s health and safety. This happened a few years ago in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt. And it happened in Planned Parenthood v. Casey.

To challenge a law in court, an individual or an entity needs to prove that they possess the proper legal grounds to do so. They need to show that they have “standing,” or that the law they’re challenging will affect their rights.

Planned Parenthood and other abortion businesses have been claiming for years that they have standing to challenge abortion regulations because they represent women’s interests. But there is one big problem with this.

The abortion industry is using the legal interests of women to erase a law that protects women. “Allowing abortionists to use women’s rights to strike down a law protecting women’s health is like allowing Ford Motor Company to invoke consumers’ rights to invalidate a law requiring safer seat belts,” said ADF Senior Counsel Kevin Theriot. It’s obviously a huge conflict of interest.

That’s why dozens of current, former, and incoming Louisiana legislators filed a friend-of-the-court brief in this case, asking the Supreme Court to uphold Louisiana’s law and stop abortion providers from speaking for women in court.

While abortion providers argue that they’re speaking for women’s interests, they’re really concerned about their own. If these abortion facilities actually wanted to provide quality healthcare to women, they would welcome these legal safeguards. But, instead, they have gone to extraordinary lengths to strike down a law that promotes women’s wellbeing.

Women can defend their own health and represent their own interests in court. They don’t need abortion providers with a conflicting agenda to speak for them.

Maureen Collins

Maureen Collins

Digital Cultivation Manager

Maureen Collins serves as the Digital Cultivation Manager at Alliance Defending Freedom.

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