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Judge blocks abortion admitting privileges in Louisiana

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District Judge John deGravelles in Baton Rouge, Louisiana has ruled against the state law requiring abortionists to obtain admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of their location.

DeGravelles concluded that the law constituted a double-standard by subjecting abortion clinics to standards other surgical centers are not held to, and wrote that women would “face irreparable harms from the burdens associated with increase travel distances in reaching an abortion clinic with sufficient capacity to perform their abortions,” as well as “unreasonable and dangerous delays in scheduling abortion procedures.”

However, his ruling is currently a temporary injunction, with a final decision whether to make it permanent slated for Friday. Further, Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry has vowed to appeal: “As Attorney General, I am committed to enforcing our state’s pro-life and pro-woman laws. My office and I will continue to do all we legally can to protect the unborn, their mothers, and all Louisiana women.”

Louisiana Right to Life has also responded to the ruling. Legislative Director Deanna Wallace noted that deGravelles’s decision is contrary precedent from the 4th, 5th, and 8th Circuit Courts of Appeals, which have upheld similar laws on the grounds that they are “obviously beneficial to patients” and “further important state health objectives.”

The group’s Executive Director, Benjamin Clapper, further noted that regardless of the Louisiana case’s final outcome, the final fate of abortion admitting privilege requirements will be in the hands of the US Supreme Court, when they review Texas’s similar abortion clinic regulations.

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