Lawsuit filed challenging new LA abortion law

By NBC 6 News

Published 08/22 2014 06:22PM

Updated 08/22 2014 06:28PM

Thousands of women could lose access to abortion if a state law takes effect on September 1.

But, the Center for Reproductive Rights is trying to prohibit that from happening.

The center joined lawfirm Morrison & Foerster in a new federal lawsuit today challenging a new Louisiana law limiting abortion.

The law was signed by Governor Bobby Jindal in June. It requires any doctor who provides abortion care to have admitting privileges at a local hospital.

If this law takes effect, it will either completely eliminate or drastically reduce access to legal abortion in Lousiana, according to Litigation Director, Julie Rikelman.

“If they're trying to challenge the law, that tells me that they're not using common sense regulations when it comes to abortion,” said Chris Davis, Shreveport pro-life activist.

Davis said he thinks abortion clinics should be treated the same as any other clinic that provides surgical services.

“Those doctors are required to have admitting privileges, so why shouldn't an abortionist be required, as well,” he added.

The Center for Reproductive Rights is trying to block the law from taking effect.

“When safe and legal abortion isn't available, some women will have to resort to illegal abortion in order to end pregnancy,” Rickelman said.

Davis said if the law is blocked it would be a travesty.

“Because more and more women in the case of a botched abortion, that would put these women in greater danger,” he said.

Rickelman said courts around the country have been finding similar laws unconstitutional, so the center is optimistic that the judge will block the law from taking effect.

We reached out to Hope Medical Group asking for a statement on this issue. The group replied via email:

“According to the AMA and ACOG admitting privileges are unnecessary.  Apparently our legislators feel they know better than leading national medical associations.  We intend to prove otherwise.”

Rickelman said they expect the judge to make a decision before September 1.

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