Title

June Medical Services v. Russo: The Future of Abortion Access in the U.S.

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

10-7-2020

Abstract

June Medical Services v. Russo is the U.S.Supreme Court’s first abortion case since President Donald Trump appointed two new conservative justices—leading many to predict the end of Roe v. Wade. Yet Chief Justice John Roberts joined his four more liberal colleagues to strike down the restriction by a 5-4 majority. But the distinct reasoning of his separate opinion could give shelter to a wide range of abortion laws. Chief Justice Roberts may be playing the long game. His vote ensures that a woman's basic constitutional right to decide the fate of her pregnancy will live to fight another day. But his opinion should leave advocates wary of counting on the judiciary alone to protect against state restrictions on abortion access and providers. This article analyzes the Supreme Court's case and its multiple opinions, the significance of the Roberts concurrence for future abortion challenges, and next steps for both lower court judges and lawmakers at the state and federal level.

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