Abortionists lament Louisiana law requiring admitting privileges will go into effect Monday

By Dave Andrusko

Pro-life Louisiana State Rep. Katrina Jackson, who spoke at the March for Life, and Louisiana RTL executive director 
Ben Clapper.

Oh, the pain and disappointment, it’s the end of life (or in this case death) as they know it. Pro-abortionists are lamenting that, save a last minute appeal to the Supreme Court, starting on Monday abortionists in Louisiana will need to have admitting privileges to a nearby hospital if/when there are complications.

In a typical understatement, National Organization for Women Legislative Director Angela Adkins said, “This is the beginning of the end.”

You may remember we reported earlier this week that the author of that bill, pro-life state Sen. Katrina Jackson, was actually delivering her remarks to the March for Life when she learned the good news.

The 2014 law, already upheld by a divided three-judge panel of the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, would not have a rehearing. The full 5th Circuit rejected the abortion industry’s request by a vote of 9-6.

The 2-1 ruling reversed the 2017 ruling of federal district court Judge John deGravelles, who had blocked the Unsafe Abortion Protection Act authored by state Rep. Jackson.

“The 5th Circuit has spoken today, providing its final word on Act 620 that protects the health and safety of women in Louisiana,” Rep. Jackson said. “I look forward to this law, which was supported by an overwhelming bipartisan majority of my colleagues, going into effect.”

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,” Baton Rouge Right to Life Capital Outreach Director Mia Bordlee told WAFB News 8’s Matt Houston. “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.”

The abortion industry argued the issue had already been addressed in the Supreme Court’s Whole Women’s Health decision. But as Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry observed, the appeals court panel “distinguished Act 620 from a Texas law that was struck down by the United States Supreme Court in June 2016.”

“The Fifth Circuit once again affirmed what we have repeatedly said: our law is both factually and legally different from the Texas law that the Supreme Court ruled against,” Landry said, adding “I once again thank Representative Katrina Jackson for authoring this public safety legislation and Solicitor General Liz Murrill for preserving the Legislature’s intent.”

Judge Jerry Smith, writing for the majority of the three judge panel, concluded “The facts in the Louisiana case are ‘remarkably different,’ from those in Whole Women’s Health, because the situation in Texas is different than in Louisiana,” according to Sabrina Canfield of Courthouse News.

For example, Judge Smith noted that unlike Texas, the Louisiana rule is unlikely to force any clinics to close. “Here, only one doctor at one clinic is currently unable to obtain privileges; there is no evidence than any of the clinics will close as a result of the Act,” he wrote.

“Act 620 results in a potential increase of 54 minutes at one of the state’s clinics for at most 30% of women. That is not a substantial burden at all, much less a substantial burden on a large fraction of women as is required to sustain a facial challenge.”

Moreover, “We are bound to apply WWH [Whole Women’s Health], which is highly fact-bound, and the records from Texas and Louisiana diverge in all relevant respects,” Judge Jones wrote.

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