NRL News

Abortion Clinics ask Judge to “freeze” implementation of Louisiana’s “Unsafe Abortion Protection Act”

by | Aug 28, 2014


By Dave Andrusko

Louisiana State Representative Katrina Jackson

Louisiana State Representative Katrina Jackson

As the final post of the day, a quick update on the pro-abortion challenge to Louisiana’s H.B. 388 authored by State Rep. Katrina Jackson (D-Monroe), known as the “Unsafe Abortion Protection Act.”

HB 388, which is now law and scheduled to go into effect September 1, will 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 by requiring that abortionists have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of their facility.

Three of five abortion facilities in the state, along with two abortionists, have filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Baton Rouge, asking for an immediate injunction against the law. Judge John deGravelles has said he will rule before September 1.

An article in the Shreveport Times today offers interesting additional information. For example, one of the abortion clinics that filed suit, Hope Medical Group for Women in Shreveport, does have an abortionist with admitting privileges. (Kathaleen Pittman, administrator at Hope Medical, told Maya Lau and Adam Duverna that he might quit.)

And, according to Julie Rikelman, litigation director for the Center for Reproductive Rights, they are asking Judge deGravelles to “freeze implementation of the law” while Louisiana abortionists apply for admitting privileges (this is assuming they have been already or will), which would be a “lengthy process.”

Of course the abortion clinics are not seeking only to put a hold on implementation. “Louisiana abortion practices will remain unchanged if deGravelles blocks the law from taking effect, but the delay in its implementation is the first step of fighting to erase the law entirely, according to William Rittenberg of Rittenberg, Samuel and Phillips, also representing the clinics,” Lau and Duverna reported.

Louisiana Right to Life Executive Director Ben Clapper told NRL News Today that he was not surprised that “the abortion industry has filed suit to stop the common-sense standards put in place by HB 388. We believe it is the right of the state of Louisiana to close loopholes that allow abortion facilities to operate at a lower standard as compared to other surgical facilities. ”

Clapper added, “Admitting privileges are patient-centered protections that promote the continuity of care between abortion facilities and local hospitals,” Clapper responded. “We look forward to the upcoming court proceedings and the full implementation of HB 388.”

One abortion facility in New Orleans and another in Baton Rouge, were not parties in the lawsuit.

Categories: Legislation