Louisiana Abortion Centers Sue to Stop Law That Could Close Three Abortion Clinics

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Aug 22, 2014   |   5:39PM   |   Baton Rouge, LA

The three abortion clinics that could be forced to close their doors because of a new pro-life Louisiana law that protects the health and safety of women have filed a lawsuit seeking to stop it.

Earlier this month, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal signed the legislation. that could close three of the state’s five abortion clinics. Jindal has been a staunchly pro-life governor and he is putting into law more pieces of pro-life legislation that has, under his administration, made Louisiana one of the most pro-life states in the nation.

judgepic11The Louisiana state legislature sent to Jindal HB 388, the Unsafe Abortion Protection Act, that the Planned Parenthood abortion business and abortion advocates strenuously opposed.

“This bill will give women the health and safety protections they deserve,” Jindal said.

The pro-life bill will protect women by ensuring that abortionists have admitting privileges at a local hospital, that informed consent protections apply to all abortions, and that facilities that perform more than five abortions maintain proper licensing.

But, three of five abortion facilities in the state, along with two abortion doctors filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Baton Rouge in an attempt to stop Louisiana HB 388, the Unsafe Abortion Protection Act, from taking effect on September 1.

They are asking for an immediate injunction against the law and for the court to rule HB 388 unconstitutional, claiming it will put an undue burden on women’s right to choose abortion before viability.

Those facilities – Hope Medical Group for Women in Shreveport, Bossier City Medical Suite in Bossier City and Causeway Medical Clinic in Metairie – claim they will be forced to close on September 1 because their doctors have not been able to get admitting privileges at local hospitals and were not provided enough time to do so. The suit claims no physicians who do abortions at Bossier City or Causeway have been able to get admitting privileges at a hospital with 30 miles of their respective clinics, and while one physician at Hope does have admitting privileges, the doctor who performs the majority of the abortions there does not.

Louisiana Right to Life Executive Director Ben Clapper responded to the suit, saying, “Not surprisingly, the abortion industry has filed suit to stop the common-sense standards put in place by HB 388. We believe it is the right of the state of Louisiana to close loopholes that allow abortion facilities to operate at a lower standard as compared to other surgical facilities. “

Clapper said that although the facilities and doctors are claiming they have not had enough time to get admitting privileges, the amount of time they had was similar to the amount of time involved in the implementation of the Texas law.

“In addition, the writing was clearly on the wall throughout May that the law would pass and be signed into law by Gov. (Bobby) Jindal,” he added.

The two other abortion facilities, one in New Orleans and another in Baton Rouge, are not parties in the lawsuit. The suit claims none of the doctors at those clinics currently have admitting privileges either, and if they are also forced to close on Sept. 1 it will make abortion unavailable in Louisiana.

In March, a three-judge panel with the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously upheld a similar Texas law, but on July 29, another three-judge panel of the 5th Circuit in a split decision invalidated Mississippi’s law also similar to HB 388.

“Admitting privileges are patient-centered protections that promote the continuity of care between abortion facilities and local hospitals.  We look forward to the upcoming court proceedings and the full implementation of HB 388,” Clapper concluded.

When the state of Texas clamped down on abortion clinics that could not follow basic health and safety standards and failed to ensure abortion practitioners had admitting privileges at local hospitals in cases where women are injured in botched abortions, abortion clinics closed down because they couldn’t comply. As many as 20 Texas abortion clinics have closed or stopping doing abortions.

Now, Louisiana is following suit.