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Despite the supreme court abortion ruling, John Roberts has not become a liberal

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The supreme court upheld the status quo on Monday, declining to further erode women’s rights for the time being. The court sided with plaintiffs representing Louisiana abortion providers in the case June Medical Services v Russo. The ruling, composed of one opinion signed by the four liberal justices and a very narrow concurrence by Chief Justice John Roberts, throws out a restrictive Louisiana law that aimed to close clinics by requiring abortion providers to obtain admitting privileges at nearby hospitals. The decision upholds the court’s own 2016 precedent, Whole Women’s Health v Hellerstedt, which threw out an identical law in Texas just four years ago.

If the Louisiana law had been upheld, getting an abortion in Louisiana would have gone from difficult to nearly impossible. The state already has a grand total of three abortion clinics, which are staffed by a total of just five providers. Only one of those providers was able to gain hospital admitting privileges as the law required, and he had already stated publicly that if the law went into effect, he would not continue providing abortions (he stated concerns about clinic security and his own personal safety as reasons to not continue as the state’s only abortion provider). That the law was overturned does not mean that abortion is now easy to get in Louisiana; like other states, Louisiana’s available abortion care is dwarfed by demand, and many women, especially in poor and Black communities, cannot reach, find or afford the abortions that they need. It is still too hard to get an abortion in Louisiana and in much........

© The Guardian