Clinics will remain open pending legal challenge
(PRESS RELEASE) A Louisiana state law specifically designed to shutter abortion clinics across the state will not be enforced on September 1, according to a federal district court ruling issued late this evening.
Louisiana health care providers filed a suit in federal district court in Baton Rouge last week seeking an immediate injunction against House Bill 388, a measure signed into law that forces any doctor who provides abortion care to obtain admitting privileges at a local hospital. With today’s decision, physicians providing abortion services will not be forced to comply with the law if they are in the process of applying for hospital admitting privileges.
Admitting privileges requirements are designed by anti-choice politicians to devastate women’s access to abortion services—with numerous clinics already been forced to closed in Texas, and abortion providers in Mississippi and Alabama hanging on by the thread of a court order. Yet, admitting privileges provide no increased benefits for the fewer than 1 percent of abortion patients who experience complications. Furthermore, privileges can often be impossible to obtain due to individual hospital policies or biases toward abortion providers for reasons not related to the doctors’ qualifications.
Dit Nancy Northup, président et directeur général du Centre pour les droits reproductifs :
“Today’s ruling ensures Louisiana women are safe from an underhanded law that seeks to strip them of their health and rights. Politicians cannot be given free rein to lie about their motives without recourse, and expect women and their families to pay the consequences.
“As the flimsy façade of these laws grows thinner by the day, we continue to look to the courts to uphold the Constitution and protect access to safe and legal abortion for all women regardless of where they happen to live.”
Ilene Jaroslaw of the Center for Reproductive Rights, Demme Doufekias of Morrison &, Foerster, and William E. Rittenberg of Rittenberg, Samuel, and Phillips, LLC represent Hope Medical Group for Women, Causeway Medical Clinic, and Bossier City Medical Suite in this challenge. If the law were enforced, at least three of the state’s five clinics would have been forced to stop providing abortion services or close altogether, leaving thousands of women—especially those in the central part of the state—hundreds of miles from a safe and legal abortion provider.
With this law, Louisiana joined the ranks of other states that have attempted to use admitting privileges requirements as an underhanded way to shutter high-quality clinics and severely limit women’s access to abortion services. Women’s health care providers and advocates are currently involved in deux défis à l'exigence inconstitutionnelle du Texas concernant les privilèges d'admission, qui est déjà fermé centres de santé à travers l'état alors que la dernière clinique du Mississippi est lutte contre to keep its doors open. A similar law in Alabama was found unconstitutional earlier this month and Wisconsin’s admitting privileges requirement has been preliminarily blocked, nevertheless, Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin signé a similar measure into law earlier this summer.
Major medical groups oppose laws like Louisiana’s that require hospital admitting privileges for physicians providing abortion services. In an Mémoire d'amicus curiae déposées dans le cadre de la contestation de l'exigence du Texas en matière de privilèges d'admission, l'American Medical Association (AMA) et l'American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) écrivent que la loi "met en péril la santé des femmes au Texas", ne faisant "rien pour protéger la santé des femmes".
Des restrictions préjudiciables et inconstitutionnelles comme celles-ci soulignent encore plus la nécessité pour le gouvernement fédéral de mettre en place un système d'alerte précoce. Loi sur la protection de la santé des femmes (S. 1696/H.R. 3471) - un projet de loi qui interdirait aux États comme la Louisiane d'imposer des restrictions anticonstitutionnelles aux prestataires de soins de santé génésique qui ne s'appliquent à aucun soin médical similaire, interfèrent avec la prise de décision personnelle des femmes et bloquent l'accès à des services d'avortement sûrs et légaux.