On Friday, CBS This Morning was fearful of pro-life legislation passed in Louisiana that would require abortion doctors have admitting privileges to hospitals. The coverage sounded the alarm about the move potentially “regulating abortion out of existence” in the state and fretted over the upcoming Supreme Court decision that would determine whether the new law violated Roe v. Wade.
“CBS News has learned that Louisiana could become the first state in the country without access to abortion as soon as next year,” co-host Gayle King proclaimed at the top of the segment. She then explained how the fate of the state’s abortion industry was in the hands of the high court: “The Supreme Court will consider a challenge to Louisiana’s so-called Unsafe Abortion Protection Act. The decision could end abortion services at Louisiana’s last remaining clinics.”
Turning to correspondent Kate Smith, King worried: “So if abortion is federally protected, how is this possible?” Smith explained:
So, Roe v. Wade legalizes abortion, but it leaves a lot of room for states to regulate the procedure. And how far a state can go is exactly what the Supreme Court will be considering next year. In Louisiana, the law would require doctors to get permission from hospitals to admit their patients in case of an emergency in order to perform abortions. But local clinics, they told us that most hospitals don’t grant abortion doctors that permission.
After playing a sympathetic exchange with abortion clinic administrator Kathleen Pittman, Smith warned: “If Louisiana is successful in effectively regulating abortion out of existence, it could provide a road map for other anti-abortion states to follow.”
Co-host Tony Dokoupil congratulated Smith on her “great reporting” and promised viewers that she would “stay on the issue.”
Smith has essentially become the network’s abortion correspondent. Earlier in the month, she appeared on the morning show to promote the opening of a “ginormous” Planned Parenthood clinic in Illinois. King wondered if the facility was “getting a lot of business.”