NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The Latest on lawsuit challenging Louisiana’s abortion clinic licensing laws (all times local):
The Louisiana Attorney General’s Office says lawyers are still evaluating a lawsuit challenging Louisiana’s licensing laws and regulations for abortion clinics. But in a statement, it says “our office is confident the laws are constitutional.”
The licensing law was passed in 2001. Attorney David Brown of the Center for Reproductive Rights in New York says that in the years since then, more than 1,000 related regulations have piled up.
The center’s president and CEO, Nancy Northup, says the burdensome rules include letting the government review medical records of every woman who has an abortion, requiring a vaginal exam even if a woman’s doctor doesn’t recommend one, and requiring doctors “to provide their patients with misleading or false information about abortion, such as the bogus claim that abortion causes breast cancer.”
A group that won court rulings against Texas and Louisiana abortion laws is suing now to overturn other Louisiana laws that it says have led to more than a thousand regulations designed to restrict abortions.
The New York-based Center for Reproductive Rights filed a federal lawsuit in Baton Rouge on Monday, the first anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling striking down a Texas requirement that abortion providers have hospital admitting privileges. The justices found that abortion regulations are unconstitutional if evidence shows their burdens outweigh their benefits.
Attorney David Brown says the lawsuit’s main focus is a Louisiana licensing law passed in 2001. He says regulations have piled up since.
Shreveport clinic administrator Kathaleen Pittman says Louisiana had 11 abortion clinics in 2001, and now has only three.
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