Senators Cantwell, Murray Stand Up for Constitutionally Protected Right to Abortion; File Bicameral Amicus Brief in June Medical Services LLC v. Gee

197 members of the Senate and House urge the Supreme Court to uphold constitutionally protected reproductive rights in June Medical Services LLC v. Gee

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Yesterday, U.S. Senators Maria Cantwell (D-WA), the top Democrat on the Senate Commerce Committee, and Patty Murray (D-WA), the top Democrat on the Senate health committee, 34 of their U.S. Senate colleagues and 161 members of the U.S. House of Representatives filed an amicus brief in the case of June Medical Services LLC v. Gee, which is currently pending before the Supreme Court of the United States and represents a direct challenge to the Supreme Court’s landmark ruling in Roe v. Wade. 

June Medical Services LLC v. Gee addresses the impact of Louisiana’s Act 620, an extreme anti-abortion law that forces abortion providers to obtain admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of their clinic. The law provides no medical benefit and would harm patients by stifling access to abortion care. If the law goes into effect, only one clinic and one abortion provider would remain in Louisiana – a state with over 360,000 women of reproductive age.

“Act 620, disguised as an effort to promote women’s health, provides no medical benefit and instead will only create significant obstacles for women seeking abortions,” the lawmakers wrote in the brief. 

The lawmakers emphasized in the brief that, just three years ago in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, the Court struck down a materially identical Texas law because it imposed significant burdens on abortion access without providing health or safety benefits. Since then, the facts, the law and the Constitution have remained the same. Lawmakers urged the court to uphold its precedent in Roe, Planned Parenthood v. Casey and Whole Woman’s Health and strike down Act 620.

“There is no compelling reason here to upend this settled precedent, and no change of circumstances between Whole Woman’s Health and this action that justifies a different outcome… Laws like Act 620, enacted in defiance of this Court’s constitutional pronouncements, undermine our nation’s confidence in the legislative process and the rule of law,” added the lawmakers in the brief.

The amicus brief follows Senators Cantwell and Murray's vocal and strident defense of protecting women’s access to health care following the Trump-Pence administration’s persistent attacks on women’s health and repeated efforts to generally undermine health care for millions of patients and families.

Read the amicus brief here.