Today, the United States Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in the case of June Medical Services, LLC v. Gee from the state of Louisiana. This case, which will be ruled on in the coming June 2020 term, is a pivotal one concerning safe access to abortion services.

In preparation for today’s hearing, the Jewish Center for Justice Lawyers’ Committee held a briefing call on Friday with Maggy Krell, chief legal counsel for Planned Parenthood of California. Focused on why we need to be “commited to expanding, not banning” right, Maggy provides a point-by-point breakdown of what to expect today. You can listen back to that call here.

The following are a few helpful links to get caught up on the case and its implications:

On the morning of the hearings, JCJ Clergy Council member Rabbi Lexi Erdheim delivered remarks at the Center for Reproductive Rights rally on the steps of the Supreme Court. View her speech in full, here.


Jewish Justice group appeals for abortion access ahead of SCOTUS arguments

March 4, 2020

LOS ANGELES — Today, the United States Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in the case of June Medical Services, LLC v. Gee from the state of Louisiana.

The case argues that a Louisiana law (Act 620), which prevents doctors from providing abortion services unless they have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of where they provide abortion care, is unconstitutional, and was desgined specifically to limit the right to choose. This law mirrors one in Texas that was struck down as unconstitutional in 2016 by the Supreme Court in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt.

Since Roe v. Wade became law in 1973, allowing for safe and legal access to abortion, anti-choice activists have systematically attempted to chip away at it in individual states through statutes disguised as safety measures. In today’s hearing, the Center for Reproductive Rights will argue that these deceptive tactics have resulted in numerous clinic closures, creating practical impediments to a woman’s right to choose in violation of the constitutional right recognized in Roe.

As Jews, we value the agency that every woman has over her own body, and oppose all efforts to restrict access to quality, affordable health care, including safe access to abortion.  Any state, Louisiana or otherwise, that attempts to restrict such rights by limiting or eliminating organizations that offer critical health services, is doing so unconstitutionally and without due regard for the safety and health of the women living there.  

Rabbi Lexi Erdheim, a New Orleans rabbi and member of the Jewish Center for Justice clergy council, issued the following quote in advance of today’s hearings:

As a Rabbi, a woman, and a citizen of a nation that seeks progress, I can’t think of a more important issue than to ensure that women have the agency to make decisions about the well-being of our bodies.  The evolution of Jewish tradition and American society has been one of expanding, not limiting rights. It is my hope that our nation’s highest court moves toward a ruling that reflects this shared ideal.