US SUPREME COURT— The high court heard arguments on a key case Wednesday involving the important questions of how much states can regulate abortion providers. It's all about whether abortion doctors can be required to have admitting privileges for their patients at a local hospital in case of an emergency.
Pro-life advocate Chelsea Sobolik at the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission told CBN News, "Every other practitioner in Louisiana is held to that same standard, and abortion doctors should be held to that same standard."
Those representing the abortion clinics contend that's not really necessary since abortion is such a safe procedure.
Julie Rikelman argued for the abortion providers before the nine justices and said, "Every major medical organization in the United States agrees that these laws do nothing whatsoever for health and safety."
But those on the pro-life side say this is a huge issue because women's safety really is on the line.
'Abortion Shouldn't be Given a Pass'
Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Denise Harle stated, "States should be able to prioritize health and safety over the business interests of the abortion industry."
Jeanne Mancini, president of the March for Life, argued, "Abortion shouldn't be given a pass. It should be held to the exact same standards as other outpatient surgical facilities."
This case has abortion providers fighting the Louisiana law. But the state argues those providers are the last people who should be arguing against safety measures for women in getting operated on in abortion clinics.
"It's really like the fox guarding the henhouse because there's a real conflict-of-interest," Harle argued.
Only the Abortion Industry Sues, Not the Women Involved
Rep. Mike Johnson (R-LA) asked, "Should the abortion industry have the right to challenge legitimate, commonsense state health and safety regulations when their interests are directly opposed to the women whose health is protected by those statutes?"
Harle added, "We haven't seen one woman come forward, challenging this law and saying she doesn't want this health and safety protection."
To the casual observer, this case looks like a re-run of the last big abortion case the court heard. In 2016, it ruled that Texas abortion doctors don't have to have admitting privileges to a local hospital.
Diana Kasdan of the Center for Reproductive Rights said the justices were asking, "Why are we back here again just four years after the court declared that this very same law was unconstitutional in Texas?"
Rikelman argued, "The Louisiana law is identical to the law in the Texas case. And that's not an accident. Louisiana modeled its law on the Texas law."
The big difference now, though, is the two Trump appointees to the high court, which may have – for the first time in decades – given it a pro-life majority. We'll likely find out when the court hands down a decision in this case probably sometime in June.