CBN News Senior Correspondent Paul Strand has covered the Supreme Court for many years. He appeared on Friday's afternoon edition of CBN's Newswatch to analyze the court's review of the Louisiana case. Newswatch can be seen weekdays on the CBN News Channel.
The start of the Supreme Court's new term is just three days away, and already there have been major developments on the abortion front.
On Friday, the high court agreed to hear an abortion case regarding a Louisiana law that could leave the state with one doctor in a single clinic to provide abortions.
The Louisiana law, signed in 2014, requires "that every physician who performs or induces an abortion shall 'have active admitting privileges at a hospital that is located not further than 30 miles from the location at which the abortion is performed or induced'."
Louisiana only has three licensed abortion clinics, located in Baton Rouge, Shreveport, and New Orleans.
It will be the first case about abortion for the court's new majority of justices appointed by Republican presidents, including President Trump's two appointees Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh.
The case comes amid a flurry of state laws that have been passed over the last few years aimed at restricting abortion in the hopes that some of them might reach the high court.
This is the only case concerning abortion this term. Court watchers say arguments in June Medical Services v. Gee, will probably be heard in the case in early 2020. A ruling is expected by early next summer.
Pro-life organizations welcomed the news of the court's review of the Louisiana law. This will be the first time in three years that the high court will have had the chance to weigh in on the abortion issue.
"Abortion activists are more than willing to lower the bar on women's health in order to expand abortion, but stricter clinic regulations are in the best interest of women," said Jeanne Mancini, president of the March for Life.
"Just recently we were reminded of the need for more oversight when it comes to abortion, not less, with the appalling case of the abortionist Ulrich Klopfer who collected thousands of aborted babies' bodies in his home. We applaud the Louisiana bill's sponsor Katrina Jackson as well as its other supporters for taking concrete steps to protect women in that state," Mancini said.
Catherine Glenn Foster, president of Americans United for Life, weighed in as well saying, "Louisiana's long and sordid history of dirty and dangerous abortion businesses being shuttered one by one in order to protect women from fly-by-night and dangerous abortionists should tell the Court all it needs to know, both about the legal benefits of this law and the dubious right of abortionists to sue to overturn laws designed to protect their own patients."
In response to the news of the Supreme Court reviewing the Louisiana law, The Justice Foundation, a non-profit law firm, is urging the court to use this case to overturn Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton. These decisions by the high court in 1973 drastically changed abortion laws in all 50 states and blocked laws protecting the lives of unborn children.
The Justice Foundation released the following statement:
"With the Supreme Court granting Cert today, we will file an Amicus Curiae brief asking the Court to use this case to overturn Roe v. Wade. Over a quarter of a million Americans have signed The Moral Outcry Petition calling on the Court to reverse Roe and Doe under the Law of Judicial Precedent. Reversing these decisions would make America, including American women who do not want to take care of a child for any reason, better off. Now is the time to end the tragedy of abortion in America."
Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Kevin Theriot, vice president of the ADF Center for Life, also commented on the Supreme Court's decision to hear the Louisiana abortion case.
“Louisiana citizens should have full freedom to prioritize women’s health and safety over the bottom line of abortionists," Theriot said in a statement. "Women deserve real healthcare, but abortion poses incredible risks to women’s physical and psychological health. All states—including Louisiana—have a valid interest in regulating abortion and protecting the safety of women who face this life-altering procedure. Louisiana’s requirements are common-sense protections that ensure the maximum amount of safety for women.”