Congresswoman Diana DeGette

Representing the First District of Colorado
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DeGette, others file brief in Supreme Court case challenging reproductive rights

Dec 2, 2019
Press Release
197 members of Congress urge Court to uphold constitutionally-protected right to abortion care in June Medical Services LLC v. Gee

WASHINGTON, D.C.  – Today, 161 members of the U.S. House of Representatives led by U.S. Reps. Diana DeGette (D-CO), Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Reps. Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Barbara Lee (D-CA) and Judy Chu (D-CA), along with 36 members of the U.S. Senate, 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. 

 “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. 

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.

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,” wrote the lawmakers in the brief.

Read the amicus brief here.