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Appellate Court upholds Louisiana admitting privileges abortion clinic law

September 27, 2018 - 1:25 pm

( -- The Fifth US Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans has upheld a Louisiana Law that would require doctors at abortion clinics to have admitting privileges at a local hospital. A law that included some similar language in Texas was shot down by the U.S. Supreme Court, but Solicitor General Liz Murrill says Louisiana’s attempt at the law was more focused, and as a result, cleared the court challenge.

"We just felt very strongly that our situation was very different and that ours was defensible," said Murrill. "It’s certainly very gratifying."

But Center for Reproductive Rights Senior Council T.J. Tu says it’s a decision that flies in the face of the Supreme Court's previous decisions, and could make access to abortion in Louisiana difficult to obtain.

"It’s going to have disastrous consequences for women in Louisiana and make access to abortion perhaps impossible in the state," Tu said.

Tu says across the nation, abortion doctors can run into serious roadblocks when trying to obtain admitting privileges, and Louisiana is no different.

"It’s unreasonable to think that doctors now in light of this decision can go back and get admitting privileges when hospitals are not going to give them to them," said Tu. "If they do not get the admitting privileges, they have to stop providing."

Admitting privileges for abortion doctors would allow them to admit a patient to a local hospital if they had a medical emergency during a procedure.

Murrill says the clinics did a poor job proving that requiring admitting privileges would be an undue burden. She says there were contradictory statements about how difficult it is to actually obtain the privileges in the state.

"One doctor has admitting privileges at a Catholic hospital, and another said that he did not think that he could get any admitting privileges because it was a Catholic hospital."

The law will not go into effect immediately, and it is likely that the decision will be challenged or appealed, and could end up in front of the U.S. Supreme Court.

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