Supreme Court to hear Louisiana abortion case

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The U.S. Supreme Court this week will consider new restrictions on abortion rights, as it examines the legality of a Louisiana law that could force two of the state's three abortion clinics to shut down.

The court - with its 5-4 conservative majority - is scheduled on Wednesday to hear a one-hour argument in an appeal by Hope Medical Group.

The clinic sued to block the 2014 law, which requires that doctors who perform abortions have a difficult-to-obtain arrangement called "admitting privileges" at a hospital within 30 miles.

Hope Medical administrator, Kathaleen Pittman, says the law - which a lower court has upheld - would have devastating effects.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) HOPE CLINIC'S ADMINISTRATOR, KATHALEEN PITTMAN, SAYING:

"It has nothing to do with the health and safety of women. All it will do is delay care for women -- put abortion care out of reach for many women."

The Supreme Court struck down a similar Texas requirement in 2016.

But Trump promised, during his 2016 presidential campaign, to appoint justices who would overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 ruling that recognized a woman's constitutional right to an abortion.

And now, there’s a conservative hold on the court… with Trump having appointed Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) HOPE CLINIC'S ADMINISTRATOR, KATHALEEN PITTMAN, SAYING:

"If the admitting privileges requirement goes in effect, it would be devastating... chipping away at Roe V. Wade, once it is successful in one area it is going to spread throughout the United States."

Louisiana and other conservative states have in recent years passed abortion restrictions that have faced legal challenges.

A Supreme Court ruling in favor of Louisiana could lead other states to pass similar laws.

A ruling is expected at the end of June.

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