WASHINGTON – Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys filed a friend-of-the-court brief Thursday with the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of 80 current, former, and incoming Louisiana state legislators who voted for or support a law requiring abortionists, like doctors at ambulatory surgical centers, to hold admitting privileges at nearby hospitals.
The brief in June Medical Services v. Gee explains that lawmakers have an interest in protecting women who seek an abortion and Act 620 does so by helping ensure the competence of doctors and promoting continuity of care and information exchange when medical complications arise.
“Women seeking abortions have the same right to competent and quality care as patients involved in other surgical procedures, and Louisiana’s law appropriately protects that right,” said ADF Senior Vice President of U.S. Legal Division Kristen Waggoner. “Abortionists aren’t entitled to exemptions from this common-sense medical protection, which also applies to doctors at ambulatory surgical centers. Nor can abortionists hijack the rights of women and use them to strike down a law that protects women’s health and safety.”
ADF’s friend-of-the-court brief explains, “The egregious practices pervading the Louisiana abortion industry illustrate the need for and usefulness of Act 620. Those practices include botched abortions by incompetent doctors, lack of screening for doctor competency, failures to stock emergency materials, a cavalier approach toward controlled substances, and countless other willful wrongs and inexcusable deficiencies that increase the danger to women who have abortions in Louisiana.” The brief details these shoddy practices and others, including the failure to report harm to women who have had abortions and the intentional destruction of medical records, and it tells the stories of real women—Brenda J., Audrey D., and D.C.—who have been hurt by abortionists in Louisiana.
The brief also argues that the petitioners, including abortionists and facilities like June Medical Services, lack standing in this case because their interests directly conflict with the interests of the women the law protects. “One of the women’s interests,” the brief asserts, “is in protecting their safety when having an abortion, and one of the doctors’ interests—to eliminate a law that places a regulatory obligation on them—directly conflicts with that.”
“Allowing abortionists to use women’s rights to strike down a law protecting women’s health is like allowing Ford Motor Company to invoke consumers’ rights to invalidate a law requiring safer seat belts,” said ADF Senior Counsel Kevin Theriot, vice president of the ADF Center for Life. “Louisiana abortionists have gone to extraordinary lengths to erase a law that promotes the wellbeing of women. The Supreme Court should put an end to this.”
While opponents of the Louisiana law insist that court’s decision in Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt should be used to strike down this law, the brief argues, “Louisiana is not Texas, and this case is not WWH. There, as Petitioners recognize, the Court’s analysis relied on ‘general medical evidence and studies.’ Pet’rs Br. 5. But here, the specific and egregious practices of Louisiana abortion providers amply support the legislature’s conclusion that Act 620 will help protect women.”
- Pronunciation guide: Theriot (TAIR’-ee-oh)
Alliance Defending Freedom is an alliance-building, non-profit legal organization that advocates for the right of people to freely live out their faith.
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