Summary: A new law that is scheduled to take effect on Monday in Louisiana could be stalled, which would keep the state’s abortion clinics open and operating.
The closure of the majority of Louisiana abortion clinics could be stalled due to a lawsuit filed in federal court this week, according to The Shreveport Times.
A May law is being challenged by three abortion clinics and two physicians in the state. The law would make it almost impossible for abortion doctors to practice in clinics. The law takes effect on Monday and it requires doctors to have the privileges to admit patients to a hospital within 30 miles of the clinics.
This means that the law would end abortions in three of five Louisiana clinics. A doctor at Hope Medical Group for Women in Shreveport has the privileges required. The administrator at Hope Medical, Kathaleen Pittman, said the clinic risks losing the physician, even though he has the admitting privileges.
“If he is the only doctor in the state left to perform procedures, that is a burden he is unwilling to shoulder given the harassment he has endured over the years,” Pittman said.
In the lawsuit, Hope Medical, Bossier City Medical Suite and Causeway Medical Clinic are all involved in the lawsuit along with two unnamed doctors. The doctors are identified as John Doe 1, M.D. and John Doe 2, M.D.
Judge John deGravelles will be asked to freeze implementation of the law as Louisiana abortion doctors continue to apply for admitting privileges.
The clinics are being represented by William Rittenberg from Rittenberg, Samuel and Phillips.
“The governor and Legislature pretend to pass laws because they care about the health of the mother, which is interesting because they also believe the mother is a murderer,” Rittenberg said. “No question: this law is there to make it more difficult for women to get abortions.”