2024 Design-Your-Own Fellowship Applications are Open

Learn More & Apply


Protecting Access to Reproductive Care

/ Blog Post

Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court released its decision in June Medical Services, L.L.C. v. Russo, one of several high-profile cases this term. The Court ruled that a Louisiana law requiring abortion providers to have admitting privileges at a local hospital places an undue burden on a woman’s constitutional right to seek an abortion.

Clara Spera, a 2019 Fellow hosted by the American Civil Liberties Union Reproductive Freedom Project, works on protecting and expanding access to reproductive care, particularly for low-income women. Through her Fellowship, she addresses some of the new legal and practical questions raised as women increasingly must travel out of state to get an abortion. Here’s what she had to say about the ruling:

“The ruling in June Medical is an important victory for the people of Louisiana, who would have seen access to abortion care gutted in their state had the law at issue not been struck down. But the case also demonstrates that the right to abortion is far from secure. What should have been an easy case—the Supreme Court decided the same issue four years ago in Whole Woman’s Health—came down to a 5-4 split. Moreover, the Chief Justice’s concurrence signals that he will be willing to uphold abortion restrictions in the future and further opens the door for states to continue to chip away at the constitutional right to an abortion. I have no doubt that states will take up that charge, but I also know that organizations like the ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project, the Center for Reproductive Rights, who argued this case, and others will be on the front lines, ready to fight back. I feel very proud and privileged that my Equal Justice Works Fellowship allows me to work alongside incredible lawyers dedicated to ensuring that reproductive rights are protected.”

Clara Spera’s Fellowship is supported by an anonymous sponsor. To learn more about her work, visit her Fellow profile here

Learn more about becoming an Equal Justice Works Fellow