Louisiana, like several other states, enacted a law that required doctors who perform abortions in the state to obtain admitting privileges at a local hospital. Louisiana claimed that this requirement promoted the health and safety of women receiving abortions. But Louisiana’s requirement, like the requirement in other states, closed many of the state’s abortion clinics, making it much harder for women in the state to access abortion.
Just four years ago, the Supreme Court held in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt (2016), that Texas’s admitting privileges requirement violated the Fourteenth Amendment. The Court concluded that the Texas law had “no . . . health-related benefits” and would shut down one-half of the clinics (20 out of about 40) in the state. The Court ruled that the Texas requirement created an undue burden on the fundamental right to access abortion. In this Louisiana case, the Fifth Circuit upheld Louisiana’s admitting-privileges requirement against the same constitutional challenge that the Supreme Court ruled on four years earlier.
Issue before the Court:
- On behalf of their patients, can doctors who perform abortions challenge a state’s regulation of abortion
- Did the Fifth Circuit’s ruling upholding Louisiana’s admitting-privileges requirement conflict with the Supreme Court’s ruling in Whole Woman’s Health
Classroom Case Study
This classroom case study provides:
- background on the legal issues in the case;
- facts of the case;
- key legal definitions;
- argument summaries for the petitioner and respondent; and
- focus questions for fostering classroom discussion
The classroom case study was modified from PREVIEW of United States Supreme Court Cases. It can be used for teacher reference and provides a more detailed look at the case.
Download Preview Article>>