Federal Appeals Court Ignores Supreme Court Precedent

The U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals refuses to reconsider its rogue decision on a Louisiana law aimed at closing abortion clinics.

01.18.19 (PRESS RELEASE) - Today, the Fifth Circuit refused to reconsider its decision from last year upholding a Louisiana law that requires physicians performing abortions to have admitting privileges at a local hospital. This means the law will go into effect in the next seven days, pending any legal action to stop it.

The Louisiana law is the same law as one that was struck down in Mississippi by the Fifth Circuit and the Texas law that was overturned in the 2016 decision by the Supreme Court in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt.

“The same law that was struck down as unconstitutional in Texas and Mississippi is now slated to go into effect in neighboring Louisiana,” stated Ellie Schilling, Board President for Lift Louisiana. “We cannot live in a country where a woman’s constitutional rights – or the lack thereof – are conditioned upon the state where she lives.”

Louisiana has mounted a multi-year legislative assault against safe and legal abortion, and over that time, eight of the eleven clinics in the state have already closed. Now, the remaining three clinics are at risk. Unless abortion providers are somehow able to get admitting privileges, which the Supreme Court found to have no medical benefit to improving women’s health, the right to safe and legal abortion in Louisiana may be on the verge of extinction.

“Low-income women will bear this burden, as they always do, with the litany of restrictions this state continues to impose on access to abortion care,” stated Michelle Erenberg, Executive Director of Lift Louisiana. “Many Louisiana women already have to travel hundreds of miles to access their constitutional right to abortion. This law will force women to remain pregnant or face tremendous burdens to obtain abortion care.”

Laws like this are steadily eroding abortion access across the country. States have passed 400 abortion restrictions since 2011, with Louisiana being one of the worst offenders.

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