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Supreme Court of the United States

Everyone Should Want the Supreme Court to Uphold This Louisiana Law…Unless You’re an Abortionist

By Maureen Collins posted on:
January 2, 2020

Would you willingly go into an invasive medical procedure knowing that your surgeon wasn’t competent, the facility wasn’t clean, and the support staff wasn’t trained? Probably not.

But these are the conditions many women face when going to abortion facilities in Louisiana.

The reports of violations of various licensing and health codes in Louisiana abortion facilities will make your stomach turn. For example, between 2004 and 2014, one abortion facility called June Medical Services was cited 13 times for violations like “reusing single-use equipment, allowing noncertified individuals to administer narcotics, failure to monitor patient’s vital signs during abortions, and failing to meet reporting requirements [or] maintain a sterile environment.”

And that’s just at one facility. Others have been cited for doing the same and worse. But the reports pale in comparison to the reports of women who have been seriously harmed by these disreputable facilities.

One of these women, named Brenda J., began to bleed heavily after an abortion. But the abortionist left Brenda sitting “on the operating table for seven to eight hours, while she lost much of the blood in her body.”

Eventually, the doctor told a staff member to take Brenda to the hospital—but not in an ambulance—in the staff member’s own car! The doctor didn’t even bother to go to the hospital with her. When Brenda arrived, emergency room doctors had no idea about the abortion and couldn’t effectively diagnose her bleeding. Because of this, Brenda’s treatment was delayed before undergoing additional surgery that discovered the baby’s skull was still inside her and that resulted in the loss of her uterus and ability to have children.

To protect women like Brenda, legislators in Louisiana passed Act 620.


Women’s Health and Safety Are at Risk

The purpose of Louisiana’s Act 620 focuses on the health of women who have abortions. “This is about the safety of women,” said the bill’s lead sponsor, Democratic lawmaker Katrina Jackson.

The law, which was passed in 2014, requires all abortionists to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals. The effects of this requirement are twofold.

First, it ensures the competence of abortionists because hospitals verify their skills and training before giving them privileges. Abortion facilities admitted that they don’t do this. For example, the medical director of June Medical said that he never performed background checks on the medical professionals he hired. This led to doctors without backgrounds in women’s health—including an eye doctor!—performing abortions at the facility.

Second, requiring abortionists to have admitting privileges at a local hospital gives women better continuity of care. Should complications arise, the abortionist will not simply hand women off to someone else, as Brenda’s doctor did. Rather, he will admit her to the hospital and treat her directly. That protects women like Brenda.

Louisiana’s law is common sense.

But some with an interest in keeping abortion unregulated are challenging Louisiana’s Act 620. Can you guess who?


Abortionists Must Be Regulated

Abortion facilities are challenging Louisiana’s law requiring abortionists to have admitting privileges at a local hospital.

They claim to be representing women and asking the state to respect a “woman’s right to choose.” But this doesn’t make sense. If these facilities were really advocating for women, they would want women to receive the best care possible. One look at some of Louisiana’s records on abortion facilities will show you that that hasn’t been the norm.

What ever happened to the pro-abortion slogan “safe, legal, and rare”? Unfortunately, abortion is no longer rare, with nearly one in four American women having an abortion by age 45. And in many cases, abortion is not safe for the mother. Just look at Brenda’s story or recall the horrors of Philadelphia abortionist Kermit Gosnell, whose shoddy practices resulted in the deaths of at least two women. 

Today, it seems that pro-abortion advocates care more about removing any and all regulations on abortion than about women’s safety. And that’s why abortionists are challenging this law at the U.S. Supreme Court in the case June Medical Services v. Gee.

But states like Louisiana have a valid interest in regulating abortion and protecting the health and safety of women who face this life-altering process. That’s why today, dozens of current, former, and incoming Louisiana legislators filed a friend-of-the-court brief in this case, asking the Supreme Court to uphold this important law.

Abortionists should not get an exemption from the common requirement that doctors performing surgeries need to have admitting privileges at a hospital. Women’s health is at stake. That’s more important than abortionists’ desire to avoid oversight and regulations.

Maureen Collins

Maureen Collins

Digital Cultivation Manager

Maureen Collins serves as the Digital Cultivation Manager at Alliance Defending Freedom.

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