NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - It’s a contentious issue -- a Louisiana law regulating abortion clinics. Now, the Supreme Court is putting Act 620 on hold until the justices are able to further review arguments for and against it.
The law would require all abortion facilities to have the ability to admit patients, according to Liz Murrill, Solicitor General for the Louisiana Attorney General’s Office.
“Fundamentally, what our law requires them to do is have admitting privileges within 30 miles of the clinic where they are carrying out their practice of conducting abortions,” Murrill said.
Ben Clapper, executive director of Louisiana Right to Life, said the law would allow the same doctor to continue treating the same patient if anything goes wrong.
“The physician at that abortion facility should be able to walk into that emergency room and take care of that woman so there’s a continuity of care that continues across the spectrum instead of a new physician and an emergency room having to diagnose and try to determine what’s going on in the situation,” Clapper said.
Proponents like Clapper argue the law is commonsense, providing protection for women.
“We found that all other outpatient surgical facilities in the state require their physicians, by law, to have admitting privileges at a local hospital. Abortion was the only type of outpatient surgical practice where that wasn’t the case,” Clapper said.
Yet, opponents say the Supreme Court made the right call by delaying the 2014 law, which was set to go into effect Monday (Feb. 4). Some clinics claim they could be forced to close their doors if the law was allowed to take effect. Others fear it could threaten Roe v. Wade.
The ACLU of Louisiana’s executive director said it’s the highest court’s job to block the “clearly unconstitutional law so that access to abortion is not decimated in Louisiana.”
Meanwhile, proponents are still holding out hope the Supreme Court eventually rules in their favor.
“We’re happy they want to consider it more thoroughly and give more time for them to consider it, and we just look forward to whatever their decision may be,” said Clapper.
The Supreme Court rejected a Texas law aimed towards requiring admitting privileges, but the Louisiana Attorney General’s office claims the law here is different.