Tagline: Until the Work Is Done
U.S. Supreme Court Affirms Constitutional Right to Reproductive Freedom in June Medical Services
June 29, 2020 at 7:52 am

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June 29, 2020

CONTACT: Samuel Garrett-Pate, Equality California
PHONE: (323) 848-9801/MOBILE: (973) 476-3770/EMAIL: press@eqca.org

WASHINGTON —  The U.S. Supreme Court struck down a Louisiana law that required physicians who provide abortion care to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of a clinic, in a 5-4 decision in June Medical Services, LLC v. Russo on Monday. The Court upheld its 2016 decision in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, finding that the Louisiana law similarly violated the constitutional right to access abortion. Justice Breyer delivered the opinion for the Court, joined by Justices Ginsburg, Sotomayor and Kagan. Chief Justice Roberts issued a concurring opinion. 

Equality California, the nation’s largest statewide LGBTQ+ civil rights organization, released the following statement from Executive Director Rick Chavez Zbur:

“We are heartened that the people in Louisiana will continue to have access to abortion care. The Court’s actions today overturn an unconstitutional attempt to restrict critical reproductive healthcare. LGBTQ+ people — especially LGBTQ+ people of color — already face tremendous barriers when it comes to accessing reproductive care, many of which have been heightened by the COVID-19 crisis.

“Today’s decision does not change the reality that abortion care is still highly — and unconstitutionally — restricted in many places across the country. It’s time for Congress to step in and pass the Women’s Health Protection Act, federal legislation that ensures the right to abortion and codifies Roe v. Wade.

“While this victory is important, we will continue to ensure that our communities have access to the care they need while addressing disproportionate health outcomes for LGBTQ+ people, women and people of color.”

On December 3, 2019, Equality California and a group of abortion and LGBTQ+ advocates filed an amici curiae (“friends of the court”) brief challenging the Louisiana law due to the disproportionate impact it would have on LGBTQ+ people, who already face structural inequalities and discrimination in healthcare. LGBTQ+ women are more likely than the general public to need abortion care and other forms of reproductive healthcare, and LGBTQ+ people — especially LGBTQ+ people of color and LGBTQ+ people living in rural areas — are disproportionately likely to rely on the very same healthcare clinics that would be shut down by laws like those overturned in June Medical Services and Whole Woman’s Health.

NOTE TO MEDIA: Equality California spokespeople, in English and Spanish, are available for interviews and commentary related to today’s Supreme Court decisions. Please contact Samuel Garrett-Pate at press@eqca.org or (973) 476-3770. 


Equality California is the nation’s largest statewide LGBTQ civil rights organization. We bring the voices of LGBTQ people and allies to institutions of power in California and across the United States, striving to create a world that is healthy, just, and fully equal for all LGBTQ people. We advance civil rights and social justice by inspiring, advocating and mobilizing through an inclusive movement that works tirelessly on behalf of those we serve. www.eqca.org

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