Pro-life group discusses future of abortion in Louisiana

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SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – A local group is speaking out about a United States Supreme Court case that will determine the future of abortions in Louisiana.

Louisiana Right To Life held a news conference today on the steps of the Tom Stagg Federal Building in downtown Shreveport.

They provided an update on the Louisiana Unsafe Abortion Protection Act. An appeal of this law is being put before the U. S. Supreme Court on March 4th.

Passed in 2014, it requires doctors who perform abortions in the state to have the right to admit patients to a hospital within 30 miles of the place where the abortion is performed. The act was challenged by the Hope Medical Group for Women on Kings Highway in Shreveport.

Six years later, the appeals have reached the U. S. Supreme Court.

Louisiana’s Right to Life says this law is about protecting women, and if repealed, it’ll harm women.

“They’ll have access to abortions, it definitely jeopardizes their safety. That these physicians are not required to have admitting privileges at a local hospital should anything occur,” said Amanda Nottingham, Director for North Louisiana Right to Life.

Hope Medical Group says the law has been ruled on by lower courts in different ways. Some rulings went in favor of the clinic, others in favor of the state. They say the law is unnecessary and it will result in the clinic’s closure.

“Not only is it unnecessary for these physicians to have admitting privileges, but it will also be detrimental to the women because in the difficulty in obtaining privileges we would be looking at clinic closure,” said Kathleen Pittman, an administrator with Hope Medical Group.

Pittman adds there are two doctors in the state that have admitting privileges, one doctor in South Louisiana and the other is at Hope Medical.

There are three abortion clinics in Louisiana.

Hope Medical says if enacted, the law would leave only one clinic in the state performing abortions. That clinic is in New Orleans.

A ruling on this case will be made over the summer.

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