Arguments were heard today in a federal courtroom over state abortion laws passed last year. The Center for Reproductive Rights challenged the laws’ constitutionality, saying they violate women’s right to an abortion. Attorney Zoe Levine says they filed a motion to dismiss 7 laws that impede women’s access to safe and legal abortions.
“Everything from requirements for doctors to requiring irrelevant information from women to restricting clinics’ capacity to contract,” Levine said.
The laws extend waiting periods, ban certain procedures and restrict what doctors can perform abortions. Executive Director for the Louisiana Right to Life, Ben Clapper, defends the pro-life laws.
“Louisiana and its attorneys want to make sure that we are doing everything we can to protect the health and safety of women and the lives of unborn babies, and these laws further that goal,” Clapper said.
But Levine says these restrictions put undue burdens on women’s access to abortion care. She says the right to an abortion has been a core constitutional right that has been recognized and respected by the US Supreme Court for decades.
“What we are seeking is to make sure that in Louisiana that’s not just a theoretical right but in reality women have access and that the clinics can remain open and serving the women of Louisiana,” Levine said.
Clapper says these laws were drafted from a common sense and constitutional basis. He says they are sound laws, and they should be upheld by the courts. He says many of these laws are for the benefit of the woman because abortion clinics only sell abortion.
“Adding, for example, two more days of a waiting period ensures that women considering abortion have enough time to consider the decision they’re making because they’re not going to hear the other side from the abortion facility,” Clapper said.
The laws have not taken effect, pending a court decision.