New Louisiana Law Taking Effect This Week Could Close Shoddy Abortion Clinics

State   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Jan 25, 2019   |   12:06PM   |   Baton Rouge, Louisiana

A Louisiana abortion facility regulation finally will go into effect Monday after a long court battle with the abortion industry.

The 2014 law requires doctors who do abortions to have hospital admitting privileges for patient emergency situations. It was sponsored by pro-life Democrat state Rep. Katrina Jackson, who spoke at the March for Life this year.

This week, state Attorney General Jeff Landry said the law will go into effect Monday, after the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals refused to hear abortion activists’ appeal of the case, Red River Radio reports.

The law could close shoddy abortion facilities that are not prepared to help patients suffering from emergency complications. There are three abortion facilities in Louisiana: Baton Rouge, New Orleans and Shreveport.

Mia Bordlee, outreach director for Baton Rouge Right to Life, told WAFB News 8 that the law will improve health care for families in Louisiana.

“This law will make it so the same doctor that is performing the abortion will continue caring for their patient in the hospital, improving the continuity of care,” Bordlee said. “Any way we can protect these women and protect their children, we’re going to take those steps because we need a higher bar for the standard of care in Louisiana.”

Meanwhile, abortion activists moaned that the law could shut down abortion facilities.

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Here’s more from the report:

“This is the beginning of the end,” said National Organization for Women Legislative Director Angela Adkins. “We’re down to three clinics in Louisiana and could possibly have less than that in a week.” …

Adkins says Louisiana is on the verge of eliminating abortions entirely, barring an appeal to the United States Supreme Court before Monday.

“Don’t think this is the end because it is not the end,” she said. “We are not done fighting and we will fight this tooth and nail, all the way to the end, all the way to the Supreme Court if necessary.”

Whether the new conservative-majority Supreme Court will take up the case, though, is questionable.

The 2014 law requires abortion providers to have hospital admitting privileges in case patients experience emergency complications. Soon after it became law, the Louisiana abortion facility Hope Medical Group for Women and the Center for Reproductive Rights challenged it in court.

The U.S. Supreme Court struck down a similar Texas law in 2016, arguing it burdened women’s access to abortion. In September 2018, however, the Fifth Circuit said the Louisiana law is different because it “does not impose a substantial burden on a large fraction of women.”

Benjamin Clapper, executive director of Louisiana Right to Life, previously said the Fifth Circuit ruling was a victory for women’s health and safety.

“.. the goal of requiring abortion providers to have admitting privileges at local hospitals was always about protecting women by ensuring the continuity of care in cases of emergency,” Clapper said. “Our law should never create special loopholes so that abortion facilities can operate in a sub-standard manner.”

Jackson, an African American pro-life lawmaker, was threatened by a Planned Parenthood director after introducing the law in 2014. Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast Director Melissa Flournoy resigned after she said she wanted someone to “kick her a–,” referring to Jackson.