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Hearing begins over Louisiana admitting privileges law

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On Monday, a six-day hearing over the fate of Louisiana’s admitting privileges law begins, the Associated Press reports.

Lawyers defending the requirement that abortionists obtain admitting privileges at hospitals within 30 miles argued the case should be dismissed because the Fifth Circuit Court’s decision to uphold a similar Texas law already settled the issue for Louisiana as well. Those defending the law argued the Texas decision was still pending a final Supreme Court outcome and that this law warrants consideration because the state does not impose similar requirements on other surgical procedures.

The Fifth Circuit ruled in the Texas case there was “no question” that “adequate provision for any complication or emergency that might arise” qualified as a legitimate state interest.

The abortionists are suing anonymously, with a court order making “any information about the clinics’ staff, physicians and patients” secret to the general public, allegedly to protect them from potential violence and intimidation. Louisiana has five abortion clinics, and abortion defenders fear only one doctor from any of them is likely to meet the law’s requirements, nearly ending abortion in the state.

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