AUL’s legal experts weigh in on admitting privileges laws.
Click here to learn more about AUL’s admitting privileges bill.
Many of the recent laws are modeled on proposals by Americans United for Life, which depicts abortion as a danger to women’s health. The aim of the tighter restrictions, says AUL’s president, Charmaine Yoest, is “protecting women and their unborn children from a largely unregulated, unrestricted, and unrepentant abortion industry.”
…Ovide Lamontagne, general counsel of Americans United for Life, agreed that the split lower court decisions might lead to a Supreme Court case. He expressed hope that the high court would view the state laws as promoting “commonsense health and safety standards.”
The abortion opponents pushing for admitting privileges laws insist they make clinics safer. Seven states now have those requirements, with Louisiana and Oklahoma passing laws this year.
“Admitting privileges requirements are important for protecting women’s health and safety so the abortion provider can oversee a woman’s care in those cases when complication arise from the abortion procedure,” said Ovide Lamontagne, general counsel for Americans United for Life.
Courts have issued mixed decisions so far. While one appeals panel on the Fifth Circuit struck down the Mississippi law, a different panel on the same court upheld a Texas law earlier. And advocates on both sides are awaiting a federal district judge’s final ruling on a Wisconsin law, which was initially blocked last summer.
Antiabortion groups contend that if clinics are shutting down, that is only because they cannot meet basic safety standards. Requiring admitting privileges ensures that abortion doctors are vetted by their peers and prevents abortion doctors from simply abandoning their patients in trouble at the emergency room. “The need for admitting privileges requirements is clear,” Denise Burke, vice president of legal affairs at Americans United for Life, said in an e-mail.
Brian Fraga, National Catholic Register | Aug. 11, 2014
…According to Americans United for Life, 13 states currently have an enforceable admitting-privileges requirement for abortion providers. Three states — Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia — require abortion providers to have transfer agreements to facilitate hospital admissions and continuity of care for abortion patients. Louisiana and Oklahoma have admitting privilege laws that take effect later this year.
[I]n 2014, three states, Indiana, Louisiana, and Oklahoma, enacted laws requiring that an abortionist maintain admitting privileges at a hospital within a reasonable distance of the abortion clinic, increasing the number of states with such requirements to 16. Despite abortion advocates’ misleading claims to the contrary, the need for hospital admitting privileges is clear.
Relying on the abortion industry’s conservative estimates of complication rates along with the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute’s latest report on induced abortions, in 2011 alone, more than 3,000 women required hospitalization following abortions. Admitting privileges requirements ensure that these women receive appropriate post-abortive and emergency care.
The prospect that such cases could end up before the Supreme Court worries abortion-rights advocates, who believe the current court could further erode women’s access to the procedure. Last month, in its biggest abortion ruling in years, the court invalidated a Massachusetts law that required 35-foot buffer zones around abortion clinics. The justices found that the statute burdened the free-speech rights of abortion opponents.
Meanwhile, abortion foes hope the cases will provide an opening to overturn a woman’s right to have an abortion. “We may be laying the groundwork for the reversal of Roe v. Wade,” said Denise Burke, vice president of legal affairs at Americans United for Life, which promotes admitting-privileges laws.
Sarah Kliff, Vox | Aug. 13, 2014
A fierce fight over a new wave of abortion regulations is quickly rising through the federal courts — and experts say it could land in front of the Supreme Court as soon as next spring.
“What’s being set up really nicely here is a circuit split, which could mean that the Supreme Court would be asked to weigh in on this issue,” says Denise Burke, senior counsel at the anti-abortion Americans United for Life.