The National  Memo Logo

Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

By Matt Pearce, Los Angeles Times

Louisiana’s new anti-abortion law can take effect Monday as scheduled, but provisions requiring doctors to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals cannot be enforced against clinics and doctors who filed suit, a federal judge ruled Sunday night.

U.S. District Judge John W. deGravelles, a recent Obama appointee who sits in Baton Rouge, granted a temporary restraining order against state officials after three of Lousiana’s five abortion-performing clinics and several doctors sued.

The plaintiffs contended that a new state law requiring that doctors have “active admitting privileges” at hospitals within 30 miles of their clinics did not allow those physicians enough time to obtain such privileges before the law was set to take effect Monday morning.

The Legislature passed the measure overwhelmingly, and Gov. Bobby Jindal signed it into law in June, about 81 days before its effective date. The clinics in Metairie, Shreveport and Bossier City contended that getting new admitting privileges could sometimes take 240 days or longer, according to the judge’s ruling.

As a result, the clinics and doctors argued in their lawsuit that the new law would result in “the majority if not all” of the state’s abortion clinics having to stop their work, and would “effectively eliminate all access to legal abortion in Louisiana.”

The judge did not suspend the entire law, but rather told the plaintiffs that they could continue their work without penalty while the matter was further examined in court and while the doctors pursued admitting privileges.

“Plaintiffs will be allowed to operate lawfully while continuing their efforts to obtain privileges,” deGravelles wrote.

Two other Louisiana abortion clinics did not join the suit and apparently are not covered by deGravelles’ ruling. It was not immediately clear how the other clinics and doctors would be affected.

The Louisiana decision comes days after a federal judge in Texas struck down two provisions of a new state law that had already forced the closure of half the state’s abortion clinics. That decision granted at least a temporary reprieve to nearly a dozen more facilities in Texas that would have otherwise gone out of business Monday.

Photo: Jason Paris via Flickr

Advertising

Start your day with National Memo Newsletter

Know first.

The opinions that matter. Delivered to your inbox every morning

Jeff Danziger lives in New York City. He is represented by CWS Syndicate and the Washington Post Writers Group. He is the recipient of the Herblock Prize and the Thomas Nast (Landau) Prize. He served in the US Army in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Air Medal. He has published eleven books of cartoons and one novel. Visit him at DanzigerCartoons.

President Joe Biden

I’ve been bemused by what I’ve called the Cult of the Presidency since long before it became my job to write about it. To an awful lot of people, the President of the United States is held personally responsible for things he can’t do a blessed thing about, from the price of Cocoa Puffs to the mutation of viruses. And too rarely given credit for things he’s done right.

Given the onset of climate change, it won’t be long before we’re blaming the White House for the weather.

Keep reading... Show less
x
{{ post.roar_specific_data.api_data.analytics }}