By Dave Andrusko
On Friday we posted about how the abortion industry in Louisiana was lamenting that a bill requiring abortionists to have admitting privileges at a local hospital was going into effect January 28.
Of course, we knew that they could always appeal the decision of the 5th Circuit to the Supreme Court. What I missed, however, was that the formality of filing a motion asking the 5th Circuit to delay the effective date (which was quickly rejected) “triggered a seven-day delay under court rules,” the Associated Press’s Kevin McGill reported.
The Center for Reproductive Rights used that opportunity to file “an emergency motion with the United States Supreme Court asking it to block a Louisiana law designed to shutter abortion clinics throughout the state,” as the CRR statement in a statement. The 5th Circuit’s decision to uphold the law the CRR dismissed as “a rogue decision.”
And that captures the entirety of the argument by pro-abortionists. That the 2014 Unsafe Abortion Protection Act, authored by state Rep. Jackson, blocked by federal district court Judge John deGravelles but upheld both by a three-judge panel and the full 5th Circuit, had already been addressed in the Supreme Court’s 2016 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, had 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.”
“It is disappointing that the abortion industry has again delayed enforcement of this law,” said Benjamin Clapper, Executive Director of Louisiana Right to Life. “Abortion facilities should not receive special loopholes opting them out of requirements that apply to all other outpatient surgical facilities.”