‘Many doctors…will no longer be able to provide abortion services…’
(Kaylee McGhee, Liberty Headlines) A Louisiana court of appeals upheld a state law requiring abortion doctors to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital.
In a 2-1 ruling, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals said the Louisiana provision does not put an undue burden on women and that it will not run abortion clinics out of business.
“There is no evidence that any of the clinics will close as a result of the Act,” the judges wrote in the ruling, according to Reuters.
The plaintiffs in the suit argued the Louisiana law was similar to one passed in Texas that the U.S. Supreme Court struck down in 2016.
The Texas law resulted in the closure of many of the state’s abortion clinics, resulting in a “350 percent increase” of women driving more than 150 miles to seek abortions.
The admitting privileges act, passed by the Louisiana state legislature, requires abortion doctors to be able to admit patients at a hospital within 30 miles of their clinic, in case of an emergency.
The plaintiffs, however, said this requirement is unnecessary because complications from abortions are rare.
The plaintiffs said the real motivation behind the law is to “shutter” clinics.
“If the Fifth Circuit’s ruling stands, many doctors in Louisiana will no longer be able to provide abortion services, forcing women to forfeit their constitutional rights to access safe and legal abortion,” Nancy Northup, president of the Center for Reproductive Rights, told The Hill. “This would disproportionately impact low-income women. Socioeconomic status and geography should never dictate a woman’s ability to exercise her fundamental human rights. We will take every legal recourse to ensure that this unconstitutional law does not take effect.”
The 5th Circuit judges said only 30 percent of women seeking an abortion would face additional wait times, though, and ruled that the Louisiana law enhances women’s safety and “does not impose a substantial burden on a large fraction of women.”