Striking Down Unnecessary Regulations of Abortion Clinics
09.11.18 - (PRESS RELEASE)
Lift Louisiana took a crucial step today towards protecting women’s access to reproductive health care in Louisiana. Attorneys working with the reproductive rights organization filed a motion asking a Louisiana court to strike down medically unnecessary regulations regarding abortion clinics.
In 2015, the Louisiana Department of Health passed these regulations, which were clearly intended to be overly burdensome. The new regulations were a complete overhaul of the existing regulations, dictating every minute detail of clinic operations. The regulations fail to improve patient health and safety, and instead, simply make it more difficult for clinics to stay open. With only three abortion clinics left to serve women in Louisiana, we can’t afford to lose any more to vindictive overregulation.
Last April, attorneys working with Lift Louisiana filed a lawsuit in Baton Rouge state court to challenge the regulations – and today, they filed court documents, backed by extensive evidence, asking the court to strike those regulations down as a matter of law.
A rigorous report released this year by the nonpartisan National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine concluded that abortion is safe and that medically unnecessary regulations undermine access to quality abortion care. The Louisiana Department of Health has consistently ignored medical opinions and passed abortion regulations without taking into account public comments, which is a legal requirement.
With regard to the regulations challenged in the lawsuit, the Department of Health received thousands of public comments in opposition, but unelected government officials pushed the regulations through the process without even considering the substance and merits of the comments. In fact, Lift Louisiana has uncovered evidence, which is being submitted to the court today, showing Department of Health officials did not consider or respond to any of the public’s comments. The unelected agency officials skirted the process in an attempt to overhaul the abortion regulations without transparency and with complete disregard for Louisiana law. Today, Lift Louisiana takes the important step of asking the court to strike down the invalid regulations.
“Lift Louisiana is committed to ensuring all women in our state have safe access to abortion care because we believe, and the Courts have determined, a woman’s ability to make her own decisions about her health and family are central to her dignity, autonomy and liberty,” said Michelle Erenberg, the organization’s Executive Director.
The same lack of transparency and disregard for public opinion is apparent in Congress, as the Senate tries to push through the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court. At this unprecedented time of attacks on women’s reproductive health, Lift Louisiana is committed to holding our government accountable and fighting for access to health care. Lift Louisiana sponsored this lawsuit to accomplish both of those goals, and the court documents filed today will help to ensure that those goals are a reality in Louisiana.
Lift Louisiana is a reproductive rights organization that educates, advocates and litigates for policies that improve the health and well-being of women, their families, and their communities.