|The Hope Medical Group for Women in northern Louisiana fields phone calls every day from anxious pregnant women who ask if abortion is still legal and if the clinic, one of only three that provides abortions in the state, is still open.
Despite the protesters who sometimes gather outside, the threats that forced the clinic to board up all the windows and the repeated restrictions put upon abortion providers in this staunchly anti-abortion state, the clinic stands. Abortion remains legal in Louisiana and elsewhere in the United States. But a Supreme Court case set for arguments Wednesday could lead to the clinic’s closure and, more fundamentally, a retreat from protecting the right to abortion that the high court first announced in 1973.
The case is just one in a series of high-stakes disputes the more conservative court, now with two appointees of President Donald Trump, is expected to decide by late June as the 2020 election campaign gathers steam.
“We're fighting this as hard as we possibly can. And for now, all three clinics are still open. And for now, abortion is still legal in all 50 states,” said Hope’s administrator, Kathaleen Pittman.
Pittman tries to keep her focus on the women who come through the door every day — generally poor women who are forced to travel increasingly longer distances as other clinics in Louisiana and neighboring states have closed. Pittman estimates as many as 80% of the women who come in get financial assistance to help pay for the abortion.