STATEMENT: In Louisiana TRAP Law Case, SCOTUS Should Uphold the Precedent Set in Whole Women’s Health

Washington, D.C. — Today, the U.S. Supreme Court temporarily blocked a Louisiana Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers (TRAP) law from going into effect. The high court acted after the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ignored precedent that the Supreme Court set in Whole Women’s Health v. Hellerstedt and would have allowed the law to go into effect, forcing the closure of multiple clinics across the state. Shilpa Phadke, vice president of the Women’s Initiative at the Center for American Progress, issued the following statement:

Women’s health and rights should be respected, not restricted by partisan justices, which is why we hope the Court will agree to hear June Medical Services v. Gee and uphold the precedent it set just three years ago in Whole Women’s Health. Contrary to the 5th Circuit’s assertion, the Louisiana statute in this case is no different.

Safe, legal abortion is already hard to attain for many women in this country. TRAP laws do nothing to protect women’s health. All they do is drive women to desperate measures and make it harder for them to get the legal health care they need. These sham laws also have a disproportionate impact on low-income women and women of color. This situation in Louisiana is dire. If the statute in question goes into effect, the state will have just one doctor left to provide care to more than 9,000 women a year—many of whom will be forced to travel long distances to get an abortion.

If the Supreme Court upholds the Louisiana law and invalidates the precedent it set just three years, the Court would erode Americans’ confidence in the independence of the judiciary, and these new justices — Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch — and those who voted to confirm them will be responsible.

For more information or to speak with an expert, please contact Colin Seeberger at or 202.741.6292.