Supreme Court blocks law regulating Louisiana abortion doctors

Washington D.C., Feb 7, 2019 / 09:03 pm (CNA).- The Supreme Court has blocked from taking effect a Louisiana law requiring abortion doctors to hold admitting privileges at hospitals nearby to abortion clinics. The court issued a stay on Thursday evening.

In a 5-4 vote, the Supreme Court granted Feb. 7 a temporary stay blocking the law while it is adjudicated in lower courts. Chief Justice John Roberts was the deciding vote and voted to grant the injunction.

The 2014 law required abortion doctors to have admitting privileges at the hospital within 30 miles of the abortion facility. It was modeled after a similar law in Texas, which was struck down by the Supreme Court in 2016. The law was challenged almost immediately upon passage and had been held from taking effect by legal challenges since it was passed.

Those opposed to the law say that it would prevent all but one abortionist in the state from performing abortions.

Although the Supreme Court struck down the Texas law three years ago, the makeup of the Court has changed significantly since that time. Notably, Justice Anthony Kennedy, who was considered to be a moderate swing vote, has retired. He was replaced by Justice Brett Kavanaugh, whose judicial approach to abortion was relatively unclear at the time of his confirmation.

Kavanaugh voted against the injunction and wrote an independent. In that dissent, Kavanaugh said that the law should be allowed to go into effect so its true impact can be measured.

With the injunction, the Supreme Court will likely be forced to consider the law in an upcoming session.

In a statement, Louisiana’s Attorney General Jeff Landry vowed to continue the legal fight, and pointed out that the law was passed nearly unanimously.

“Unfortunately, the supreme court today put enforcement of this pro-woman law on hold for the time being,” said Landry.

“We remain hopeful that if the Supreme Court grants certiorari in this case, it will to be to re-affirm that courts rule in fact-specific cases; because the facts in our case show (the bill) is constitutional and consistent with our overall regulatory scheme for surgical procedures.”

Landry said that his office “will not waver” in defense of the law, and will “continue to do all that we legally can to protect Louisiana women and the unborn.”


If you value the news and views Catholic World Report provides, please consider donating to support our efforts. Your contribution will help us continue to make CWR available to all readers worldwide for free, without a subscription. Thank you for your generosity!

Click here for more information on donating to CWR. Click here to sign up for our newsletter.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

All comments posted at Catholic World Report are moderated. While vigorous debate is welcome and encouraged, please note that in the interest of maintaining a civilized and helpful level of discussion, comments containing obscene language or personal attacks—or those that are deemed by the editors to be needlessly combative or inflammatory—will not be published. Thank you.