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NC political experts weigh in on latest SCOTUS decision on abortion

NC political experts weigh in on latest SCOTUS decision on abortion
On Monday, in a 5-4 decision, justices reaffirmed abortion rights by striking down a Louisiana law that required doctors who do abortions to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital. (Photo credit: WLOS staff)

Political experts are weighing in on the impacts of the latest landmark Supreme Court decision regarding abortion.

On Monday, in a 5-4 decision, justices reaffirmed abortion rights by striking down a Louisiana law that required doctors who do abortions to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital.

Justices in the majority said the law placed an undue burden on abortion access.

"Today’s Supreme Court decision ensures lawmakers cannot impose restriction measures to further prevent abortion access," Rep. Julie von Haefen (D-District 36) said at a panel held held by Planned Parenthood Votes! on Monday.

The Trump campaign released a statement saying in part:

Today’s decision by the Supreme Court allows dangerous and medically substandard abortion clinics to continue to harm women. It demonstrates the failure of the Court to allow the American people to protect the health and safety of women from the unsanitary, unsafe, substandard abortion industry that puts profit above women.
Because the abortion industry has refused to regulate itself, all states — including Louisiana — have a valid interest in regulating abortion and a duty to protect the health and safety of women who undergo this life-altering procedure. Even during the current pandemic, the abortion industry has refused to put health and safety over profit by keeping its clinics open."

Chris Cooper, a Western Carolina University politics professor, weighed in on the decision.

"So, what the court said here, you know, a law in Louisiana that would have restricted the entire state to just one abortion clinic is unconstitutional," Cooper saide.

Cooper said North Carolina cannot pass a similar law now, adding that the state is split on the idea of abortion.

"Recent polling I’ve seen has said that about 49 percent of people in our state think that the woman’s right to choose should be protected and perhaps expanded and about 43 percent think it should be restricted," Cooper said.

Currently, in North Carolina, a patient must get counseling and wait 72 hours before getting an abortion.

Telemedicine for abortions is banned.

As a part of the state's health exchange under the Affordable Care Act, abortions are only covered in cases of life endangerment and rape or incest. Those three things are what abortion rights advocates said need to be changed next.

"Your ability to access abortion is still determined by where you live, how much money you make, and, in this country, that effectively also means the color of your skin," Sen. Natalie Murdock (D-District 20).

With November elections coming up, Cooper said this Supreme Court decision will make an impact.

"I think it means that abortion will continue to be the kind of issue that both parties can use to run campaigns," Cooper said.

Cooper said it's interesting to note that Chief Justice John Roberts was the deciding swing vote for Monday's decision.

Roberts, who traditionally votes more conservative, voted with the liberal justices, saying he was following the precedent set by another similar case from four years ago.

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