Skip to content

Federal court dismisses attack on La. abortion clinic regulations

ADF is co-counsel with La. Dept. of Health in defense of Outpatient Abortion Facility Licensing Law

BATON ROUGE, La. — A federal court Wednesday dismissed a lawsuit filed by abortionists against a Louisiana law requiring them to meet certain patient health and safety regulations. Attorneys with the Alliance Defense Fund are co-counsel together with Louisiana Department of Health lawyers in defense of the law.

“A patient’s health is more important than an abortionist’s bottom line,” said ADF Senior Counsel Steven H. Aden. “The court was right to reject this attempt to escape common-sense health and safety regulations. If abortionists truly cared about the people who enter their doors, they wouldn’t be attempting to tear down these types of laws.”

In November of last year, abortionists represented by the Center for Reproductive Rights filed suit against Act 490, Louisiana’s Outpatient Abortion Facility Licensing Law enacted in June 2010.

The law states that Louisiana’s secretary of health “may deny a license, may refuse to renew a license, or may revoke an existing license, if an investigation or survey determines that the application or license is in violation of any provision” of the regulations governing outpatient abortion facilities “or in violation of any federal or state law or regulation.” The law also allows the Department of Health to immediately suspend a license if “the violation[s] pose an imminent or immediate threat to the health, welfare, or safety of a client or patient.”

In its ruling dismissing the lawsuit Bossier City Medical Suite of Texas v. Greenstein on multiple grounds, the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana wrote, “The Court finds that the Plaintiffs will not suffer any significant hardship. Plaintiffs claim that they will suffer severe hardship because they will be required to make ‘immediate and significant, but unascertainable, changes in their operations.’ However, nothing in Act 490 requires Plaintiffs to alter their conduct; instead, it alters the State’s conduct in detecting and addressing violations.”

“Though this provision potentially subjects Plaintiffs to a stricter standard of review for violations of state or federal law,” the ruling adds, “Plaintiffs were legally obligated to adhere to those statutes and regulations notwithstanding Act 490.”

ADF attorneys representing Allen County, Indiana, succeeded in securing a settlement this week in a lawsuit filed by the Center for Reproductive Rights and the American Civil Liberties Union against that county’s Patient Safety Ordinance. The settlement upholds virtually all of the law, introduced by lawmakers last year to extend regulations protecting women to itinerant physicians, including abortionists.

ADF is a legal alliance of Christian attorneys and like-minded organizations defending the right of people to freely live out their faith. Launched in 1994, ADF employs a unique combination of strategy, training, funding, and litigation to protect and preserve religious liberty, the sanctity of life, marriage, and the family.