But Judge extends period for abortionists’ pending hospital applications, allowing most abortion facilities to remain open
By Benjamin Clapper, Executive Director, Louisiana Right to Life
Late Sunday night, U.S. Federal District Court Judge John deGravelles in Baton Rouge issued a “limited” temporary restraining order on HB 388 (now referred to as Act 620), the Unsafe Abortion Protection Act
Contrary to many media reports, Judge deGravelles did not “block,” “freeze,” or “enjoin ” the law, even though that is what the abortion industry requested. To our benefit, he allowed Act 620 to go into effect Monday. This is a positive development for the future of Act 620.
However, Judge deGravelles followed 5th U.S. Circuit precedent and allowed plaintiff-abortion facilities with abortionists who have pending admitting privilege applications to continue performing abortions until hospitals reach a decision on their applications.
This means that abortion can continue at the abortion facilities in Shreveport, Bossier City, and Metairie. All of these facilities are plaintiffs in the suit, and all have physicians with pending applications at local hospitals. The judge will review progress on these applications in 30 days.
The abortion facilities in New Orleans and Baton Rouge, however, are not part of the lawsuit. We expect these facilities will have to abide by HB 388. The status of physicians at these facilities and their admitting privileges at local hospitals is unclear.
Since abortion was legalized in the United States, the abortion industry has virtually opposed every common-sense effort to raise medical standards at abortion facilities and give women more information about abortion and their options. They have done it again in fighting the implementation of Act 620. These abortion facilities want less oversight so they can be unfettered in their goal of selling more abortions. We will continue to push to raise the standard of care in Louisiana and protect women and unborn children.
The legal process is far from over. We thank Judge deGravelles for his fair and impartial proceedings and look forward to the eventual full implementation of HB 388.