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On Monday, the US Supreme Court ruled against a Louisiana law requiring that abortion-clinic doctors have hospital admitting privileges, citing that it placed an undue burden on abortion access. Chief Justice John Roberts concurred with the 5-4 ruling, arguing that the court should uphold the precedent set by a similar decision in 2016.
Chief Justice Roberts cast the final vote to repeal a Louisiana law that would have restricted access to abortion clinics by requiring doctors who perform the procedure to have admitting privileges at local hospitals.
Roberts was the fifth vote in a 5-4 decision, joining the liberal justices in the majority decision in Juno Medical Services v. Russo.
The GOP had hoped that Roberts would agree to uphold the Louisiana law. If the Supreme Court voted to uphold the law, it would been seen as a signal that the Supreme Court was ready to strike down Roe v. Wade, the landmark ruling that legalized abortion nationwide in 1973.
Roberts said that because the Supreme Court had struck down a similar law in Texas four years ago, and the court should stand by that precedent. The majority opinion referred to the Texas statute as “almost word-for-word identical” with the Louisiana law.
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