Meanwhile, in Louisiana, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has allowed an anti-choice law to take effect, which could shutter nearly all abortion clinics in the state. Louisiana is one of multiple states that have passed laws requiring abortion providers to obtain admitting privileges at a nearby hospital. Such privileges are often impossible for abortion providers to obtain, due to anti-choice sentiment or because they don’t admit enough patients to meet hospital minimums. Speaking on a conference call with reporters Thursday, attorney David Brown of the Center for Reproductive Rights said the ruling will likely shut down all but one clinic.
David Brown: “When the law was passed, there were five abortion clinics throughout the state offering services to women. Three of those clinics have now closed because they cannot meet the admitting privileges requirement that the Fifth Circuit allowed to take effect last night. The fourth clinic is hanging on by a thread with one physician, who will have to cease providing services unless we can get immediate relief from the Supreme Court. So, the Fifth Circuit has—the decision yesterday has poised us to go from five clinics down to one.”
The Center for Reproductive Rights said it would seek emergency relief from the Supreme Court. The decision came a week before the Supreme Court hears arguments Wednesday concerning another ruling by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals that upheld anti-choice restrictions in Texas, including a similar admitting privileges rule that has shuttered about half of Texas’ roughly 40 clinics.