Supreme Court Keeps Louisiana Abortion Clinics Open, denying Louisiana’s Efforts to Close Them

By March 28, 2016Louisiana
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Earlier this month on March 4, the U.S. Supreme Court Justices reversed an order by the Federal Appeals Court in New Orleans that allowed Louisiana to begin enforcing its 2014 clinic regulation law as it is being challenged in the courts.

The law being challenged is HB 388, Unsafe Abortion Protection Act which increases requirements of physicians who perform abortions.  It became Act 620 of the 2014 Legislative Session on June 12 when Gov. Bobby Jindal signed it into law. The law was set to go into effect on September 1, 2014. Since that time it has been fought in court and has now been blocked by the U.S. Supreme Court.

In 2014 a three-judge panel from the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit upheld the majority of the Texas law, concluding the law “does not place a substantial obstacle in path of those women seeking an abortion”.  But opponents appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court arguing it does represent an undue burden because half of the 40 clinics that were open in Texas before their 2013 law was passed closed as a result of a law similar to Louisiana’s law.

The 5th Circuit Court in New Orleans is currently withholding further action regarding HB388, awaiting the decision on the Texas case, which would set a precedent for other states. A decision is expected in June. Our hope is that the Supreme Court will uphold the Texas law, opening the door for HB388 to be fully implemented in Louisiana.

If implemented, HB 388 will do several things:

  • It will require abortion providers have admitting privileges at a local hospital within 30 miles of the abortion facility.
  • It will clarify that informed consent protections apply to surgical abortion as well as to RU-486 chemical abortion. Physicians in both private offices as well as in licensed outpatient abortion facilities would have to provide women the same informed consent protections and 24-hour reflection period, whether the abortion is surgical or chemical.
  • It will require doctors who perform more than five abortions a year to maintain proper licensing. Current Louisiana law allows physicians to perform 60 abortions a year before being subject to the health and safety inspections that are required of “licensed outpatient abortion facilities.”

Your Prayers are Needed! Pray that the Supreme Court will uphold the Texas law and allow full implementation of the requirements of their bill which provides that doctors to have hospital admitting privileges in order to perform abortions in clinics, thereby setting a precedent to reverse any action against the Louisiana clinics. Please pray regularly for this until June.

“The shame and the downfall of a modern materialistic society is her inability to treasure, care for, admire, adore, cherish, value, revere, respect, uphold, uplift, protect, shield, defend, safeguard, treasure and love her children.” – C. JoyBell C.