In another example of the court’s continuing liberal bent, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled on Monday that abortion providers in Louisiana do not need to obtain hospital admitting privileges. For Louisiana Right to Life, who championed this bill as a bipartisan effort in the state legislature, the result was “tragic.”
“Unfortunately, it’s not a surprise, but it’s tragic that the Supreme Court has continued to put the abortion industry over the health and safety of women,” Dorinda C. Bordlee, Esq. said in an interview with The Daily Citizen. As a member of the Bioethics Defense Fund, she wrote the law.
The decision, 5-4 with Chief Justice John Roberts siding with the liberal judges, struck down a law passed by the Louisiana legislature in 2014 that required abortionists to have admitting privileges at local hospitals, which is a medical practice that allows a private practicing physician to treat their patient inside a hospital.
“We heard from physicians of the committee, especially those who are emergency room physicians or at least physicians who had spent a significant experience in emergency rooms, about the importance of having admitting privileges at a local hospital because it continues what they call the continuity of care,” Benjamin Clapper, the Executive Director of Louisiana Right to Life, told The Daily Citizen. “If the patient goes to the hospital and the physician doesn’t have admitting privileges, that means the physician can’t go into the hospital and help handle the complication, it’s up to the ER physician to assess the problem from square one and valuable time is lost.”
Generally speaking, receiving admitting privileges is a sign of a physician’s competence and that the hospital is comfortable with the insurance risk of allowing that doctor to treat a patient in their facility. If a physician doesn’t have that, it could be due to a variety of issues, including a lack of trust in the skills of that physician.
It is completely reasonable for states to require abortionists to have admitting privileges, especially for outpatient surgical abortions, and far too many women have been maimed in the abortion process and received further injury because some abortionists do not have admitting privileges. In fact, the bill was supported by many post-abortive women in the state.
“(The bill) was conceptualized with post-abortive women who had been harmed in abortion clinics,” Bordlee said. “It was a need that was brought to our attention. Louisiana has a very active group of post-abortive women who have been injured by abortion and are not afraid to speak out to the legislature. So, we had the benefit of hearing from women who had the courage to say what really happened in these shoddy clinics.”
“They don’t provide basic protections, including not sterilizing abortion instruments between patients, not having IV fluids on site and, last year, not having iv fluids on site resulted in a woman having a full hysterectomy after being admitted to the hospital,” Clapper said. “It’s such a long history of these abortion clinics operating at this low standard of care.”
For women, the threat to their health and welfare at abortion clinics is incredibly real and they need these commonsense protections.
“This is one of the things that people don’t expect of the pro-life movement, that we understand that every member of the human family is entitled to human dignity,” Bordlee said. “That includes the unborn child and it also includes the woman who is often abandoned or coerced into the trauma of abortion. These women are often misled by the abortion industry, which claims that it is safe and easy when it actually endangers her life and reproductive health. We were proud to stand along with these women. And for those women who choose or are coerced into an abortion, we have a duty, as the pro-life movement, to recognize that these women are our sisters, our friends, our mothers and they are entitled to the right to life as well. Too many women have lost their lives and their reproductive health at the hands of an industry that refuses to live up to the same standard of care as any other medical office.”
As a result of this decision, abortion clinics across the country are legally allowed to continue operating at a lower level of care than any other medical facility dealing with outpatient surgeries.
“It was like they were trying to write a defense of the abortion industry, and just trying to do what they can to prevent them from following basic guidelines,” Clapper said. “In the medical world of Louisiana, outside of the abortion business, admitting privileges are not controversial, they’re commonsense.”
Citizens of Louisiana still have an opportunity to protect life as there will be a ballot initiative this November that would amend Louisiana’s Constitution to include: “To protect human life, nothing in this constitution shall be construed to secure or protect a right to abortion or require the funding of abortion.”
The recent decisions from the Supreme Court have some Americans deeply concerned about the future of the country. Prayerfully, more conservative voices can be added to the nation’s highest court in the near future and the health and safety of women will once again be respected and protected.
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