The Supreme Court Thursday blocked a Louisiana pro-life law from going into effect, disappointing pro-lifers and putting a damper on hopes that a new conservative block will quickly lead to a reversal of Roe v. Wade.
That still might happen, but Thursday’s action lowered the optimism of pro-life leaders. Chief Justice John Roberts joined the court’s liberal bloc in a 5-4 decision that halted the law, which would have required abortion doctors to obtain admitting privileges at hospitals within 30 miles of a clinic.
Pro-lifers said the goal of the law was to make abortion safer for women who experience complications. Pro-choicers said the law would have forced abortion clinics to close. The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals had upheld the law.
Contrary to his vote on this case, Roberts has a history of affirming pro-life thought. In 2006, he voted to uphold a ban on partial-birth abortion. Last year, he sided with crisis pregnancy centers in a free speech case.
The Supreme Court in 2016 struck down a Texas law requiring abortion doctors to have admitting privileges. The vote was 5-4, and Roberts voted with the conservative bloc in the minority.
Ed Whelan, a legal expert and president of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, wrote at National Review’s website that it is wrong to view Thursday’s ruling with “grand significance.”
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Source: Christian Headlines