National Right to Life and Louisiana Right to Life File Amicus Brief in Support of Louisiana’s Requirement that Abortion Doctors Have Hospital Admitting Privileges

The National Right to Life Committee (NRLC) and Louisiana Right to Life (LRTL) have filed an amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court supporting Louisiana’s Act 620 “Unsafe Abortion Protection Act” which requires abortion doctors to have admitting privileges with a local hospital. Act 620 was passed in 2014 in response to the extensive health and safety violations found in Louisiana abortion clinics. Louisiana already requires doctors who perform surgery at outpatient surgical centers to have hospital privileges. Act 620 extends that requirement to include abortionists.

The case before the U.S. Supreme Court is June Medical Services, LLC, et al. v Rebekah Gee, Secretary, Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals.

“Despite the arguments from pro-abortion groups in this case, there is no constitutional right to a sub-standard abortion facility,” stated Carol Tobias, president of National Right to Life. “Women who suffer from complications from an abortion, such as hemorrhaging or an incomplete abortion, require and deserve immediate emergency care.”

The “Unsafe Abortion Protection Act,” was passed to 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.

Benjamin Clapper, executive director of Louisiana Right to Life, said “Together with State Rep. Katrina Jackson, Louisiana Right to Life passed the 2014 Unsafe Abortion Protection Act by a bi-partisan majority in our legislature to protect the health of Louisiana women. In Louisiana, admitting privileges are a basic standard in every other type of outpatient surgery other than abortion. Abortion facilities should not receive special loopholes when it comes to common-sense safety standards.”

June Medical Services, the petitioner in June Medical Services, LLV v Gee, (along with other abortion facilities in the state), was found to have violated multiple patient health and safety regulations. As documented in Statements of Deficiencies by the Louisiana Department of Health, abortion clinic violations in the state include but are not limited to: failures to verify the medical history of patients, failure to monitor how long or how much nitrous oxide was given to patients, failure to perform or document a physical exam of each patient, failure to properly store and safeguard medications, failure to have qualified personnel administer anesthesia, failure to properly sterilize equipment, and failure to ensure that single-use IV fluid was used only once.

In addition, abortion clinics in the state failed to have on hand the proper equipment to deal with patients experiencing hemorrhaging and failed to follow mandatory reporting laws in the cases of rape or incest of a minor.

“If the abortion industry truly cared about women, they would work to ensure that women in the state of Louisiana and across the nation receive the best of care,” stated Tobias. “Instead, we repeatedly see the industry oppose laws like Louisiana’s ‘Unsafe Abortion Protection Act’ that are designed to protect women.”

James Bopp, Jr., of The Bopp Law Firm, PC, is General Counsel for National Right to Life and lead counsel for NRLC and LRTL. Bopp stated, “The Louisiana case demonstrates the abortion industry’s utter disregard for the lives and health of women by recklessly hiring abortion doctors who are obviously unqualified to perform abortions. The Louisiana hospital-admitting-privilege law addresses this problem by insuring that abortion doctors are subject to close scrutiny by other physicians. The abortion industry’s objections to such laws, that are necessary to protect women’s lives and health, should be rejected by the Supreme Court.”

The amicus brief can be found here.