5th Circuit Ruling Allows Louisiana Admitting Privileges Law To Take Effect

Louisiana State Representative Katrina Jackson

Louisiana State Representative Katrina Jackson

NEW ORLEANS – A unanimous three-judge panel of the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals today issued an emergency stay of the district court’s opinion that struck down the state’s law that requires abortionists to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the abortion clinic.

The panel accepted all of the state’s arguments–that the district court did not follow 5th Circuit precedent; ignored the state’s unrebutted evidence that more than 90 percent of Louisiana women would still be within 150 miles of a provider; and ignored the secretary’s determination that “Dr. Doe 2’s” privileges at Tulane were sufficient.

Louisiana state Rep. Katrina Jackson, who authored the legislation, said: “This stay by a unanimous three-judge panel of the 5th Circuit is a victory for the health and safety of women who are harmed by abortion. I am very pleased the Legislature’s interest in protecting both women and unborn children is being respected by this court.”

Dorinda Bordlee, chief counsel of the Bioethics Defense Fund who drafted model legislation for the bill, said: “There is no constitutional right to an unsafe abortion. Women, who are often coerced or abandoned to abortion, should not have to pay with their lives for abortion providers who are not qualified enough to have hospital admitting privileges.”

“As we expected, the 5th Circuit has upheld the common sense requirements of admitting privileges consistent with other decisions on this matter,” said Louisiana Right to Life Executive Director Benjamin Clapper. “Even while waiting for the case’s full appeal, we look forward to the health and safety of women being protected.”