Supreme Court abortion case could open door to Minnesota protections
Today the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a major abortion case that could substantially affect the ability of states, including Minnesota, to enact commonsense protections for unborn children and pregnant women. June Medical Services, LLC v. Russo is a challenge to Louisiana's 2014 "Unsafe Abortion Protection Act," which requires abortion practitioners to obtain admitting privileges at a nearby hospital. "The admitting privileges requirement is a reasonable safeguard to help protect against substandard abortion doctors and to ensure continuity of care in the event of abortion complications," says Scott Fischbach, executive director of Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life (MCCL). "This law is in no way unconstitutional. It should be upheld." Minnesota currently does not require that abortion practitioners have admitting privileges. Nor does the state license or inspect abortion facilities—even though it licenses outpatient surgical centers, which also perform outpatient surgery. MCCL has sought in recent years to enact legislation to require abortion facility licensing. In 2018, according to the Minnesota Department of Health, 77 complications were reported occurring at the time of an abortion procedure, including cervical laceration, hemorrhage, and uterine perforation; 45 complications were reported occurring following the procedure, including 21 cases of "incomplete termination of pregnancy." "Abortion has too often been exempted from the safeguards that apply elsewhere. The Supreme Court should allow us to pursue those commonsense measures," says Fischbach. "We are hopeful that the Court will get out of the business of dictating which medical regulations are permissible and move instead toward allowing greater protection for unborn children and their mothers."