Federal Judge Blocks Enforcement of Louisiana’s New Anti-abortion Law

Opponents and supporters of an abortion bill demonstrate at the state Capitol in Austin, Texas, in 2013. (Eric Gay / Associated Press)
Opponents and supporters of an abortion bill demonstrate at the state Capitol in Austin, Texas, in 2013. (Eric Gay / Associated Press)

Louisiana’s new antiabortion law can take effect Monday as scheduled, but provisions requiring doctors to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals cannot be enforced against clinics and doctors who filed suit, a federal judge ruled Sunday night. 

U.S. District Judge John W. deGravelles, a recent Obama appointee who sits in Baton Rouge, granted a temporary restraining order against state officials after three of Lousiana’s five abortion-performing clinics sued.

The plaintiffs contended that a new state law requiring that doctors have “active admitting privileges” at hospitals within 30 miles of their clinics did not allow those physicians enough time to obtain such privileges before the law was set to take effect Monday morning.

The Legislature passed the measure overwhelmingly, and Gov. Bobby Jindal signed it into law in June, about 81 days before its effective date. The clinics in Metairie, Shreveport and Bossier City contended that getting new admitting privileges could sometimes take 240 days or longer, according to the judge’s ruling.

As a result, the clinics and doctors argued in their lawsuit that the new law would result in “the majority if not all” of the state’s abortion clinics having to stop their work, and would “effectively eliminate all access to legal abortion in Louisiana.”

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SOURCE: MATT PEARCE
The Los Angeles Times

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