On Tuesday, a federal judge struck down a 2014 Louisiana law that required abortion physicians to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the clinic. The judge claimed the law would violate women’s constitutional rights.
Ilene Jaroslaw, a staff attorney for The Center for Reproductive Rights, believes the judge, “saw this law for the sham that it is, that it was never designed to advance women’s health. It was advanced by the same people who are looking to close down clinics and take away women’s reproductive healthcare options.”
Supporters of the law say it’s meant to protect women’s health by ensuring they have access to advanced medical care in case of any complications during the abortion procedure.
Louisiana attorney general, Jeff Landry, says, “This is a safety concern, I’m sure that those same women activists groups that claim Planned Parenthood provides all these needed women’s healthcare services but what we want to make sure in this state is those services are done properly and under the proper safeguards.”
Opponents aren’t buying this claim.
Co-founder of the New Orleans Abortion Fund, Jessie Nieblas, explains, “Abortion is a very safe procedure, and the providers who have been providing the service in their community have often been doing so for decades with very low rates of complications.”
In Louisiana, roughly 10,000 women seek abortions a year. If the ruling had been upheld, it would’ve left one operable abortion clinic for the entire state, in New Orleans.
“That means many of them simply won’t be seen. They cannot do all of the care that is required and they’d be forced to turn away thousands of patients every year” says Nieblas.
She believes with fewer providers, women may resort to unsafe, illegal practices or self-abortion that can put their health at risk. The judge agreed.
Landry says he plans to appeal the judge’s ruling.