National Right to Life responds to Supreme Court decision to stay Louisiana’s “Unsafe Abortion Protection Act”

WASHINGTON – With a 5-4 vote, the U.S. Supreme Court granted an emergency request Thursday night to stay a 2014 Louisiana law requiring abortion providers to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital. The Louisiana Unsafe Abortion Protection Act (Act 620) was previously upheld by the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, which previously refused to stay implementation of the law.

Pro-abortion attorneys argued that the Louisiana law should be ruled unconstitutional under the precedent of Whole Women’s Health v. Hellerstedt. The Texas law required abortionists to have admitting privileges and required abortion clinics to meet the same standard as ambulatory surgical centers. However, the Louisiana law did not require clinics to meet the ambulatory center requirements.

In upholding the Louisiana law in a 2-1 decision in September 2018, Fifth Circuit Judges Jerry Smith and Edith Brown Clement ruled that the Louisiana law’s impact is factually different from the Texas law in Hellerstedt and should be ruled constitutional even with the Hellerstedt precedent.

“For a movement that purports to advocate for women’s health, it is bizarre that the abortion industry opposes laws like this,” said Carol Tobias, president of National Right to Life. “What are they so afraid of? What’s wrong with the abortionist that he can’t get admitting privileges at a hospital?”

Tobias added, “There are numerous documented cases of physical complications following an abortion that require women to seek emergency medical treatment. Ensuring that abortionists have admitting privileges is the very least the abortion industry can do to protect women.”

For more information about physical complications from abortion, see National Right to Life’s factsheet here.

For more information about Louisiana Act 620, see Louisiana Right to Life’s factsheet here: prolifelouisiana.org/facts-about-louisianas-admitting-privileges-law.