By Dave Andrusko
National Right to Life News Today has closely followed Louisiana’s H.B. 388 authored by Rep. Katrina Jackson (D-Monroe), known as the “Unsafe Abortion Protection Act.” HB 388, which is now law and scheduled to go into effect September 1, will ensure that women who experience complications from abortion, such as hemorrhage, uterine perforation, or infection from an incomplete abortion, are given the highest standard of care possible at a local hospital without any delays by requiring that abortionists have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of their facility.
Predictably, three of five abortion facilities in the state, along with two abortionists, have filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Baton Rouge, asking for an immediate injunction against the law. The plaintiffs maintain the law is unconstitutional because it will put an “undue burden” on women’s right to choose abortion.
Louisiana Right to Life Executive Director Ben Clapper said he was not surprised that “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. ”
The facilities– Hope Medical Group for Women in Shreveport, Bossier City Medical Suite in Bossier City and Causeway Medical Clinic in Metairie– and the abortionists assert they have not had enough time to get admitting privileges. However Clapper noted the amount of time they had was similar to the amount of time involved in the implementation of a similar Texas law which was unanimously upheld in March by a three-judge panel of the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals.
“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. (You can watch the June 12 signing ceremony at www.youtube.com/watch?v=iPk4aeK7Pa0&feature=youtu.beby)
Moreover the plaintiffs also claim no physicians who do abortions at Bossier City or Causeway have been able to get admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of their respective clinics–and that while one physician at Hope does have admitting privileges, the abortionist who performs the majority of the abortions there does not.
“Admitting privileges are patient-centered protections that promote the continuity of care between abortion facilities and local hospitals,” Clapper responded. “We look forward to the upcoming court proceedings and the full implementation of HB 388.”
One abortion facility in New Orleans and another in Baton Rouge, were not parties in the lawsuit.