Ruling Will Shutter All But One Louisiana Health Center
Washington, D.C. –Today, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals granted a stay that will allow a clinic shutdown law in Louisiana to take effect immediately, forcing the closure of three out of four health centers that provide safe, legal abortion and decimating women’s access to abortion in the state overnight. This comes as the U.S. Supreme Court is scheduled to hear oral argument this coming Wednesday, March 2, about a decision by the same court upholding similar restrictions in Texas that have devastated access to safe, legal abortion across that state.
In Texas, researchers found that women are already waiting up to 20 days to access an abortion, and these restrictions threaten to nearlydouble the percentage of abortions in the second trimester. At least 100,000 Texas women may have attempted to end a pregnancy on their own, without medical assistance, due to restricted access to safe, legal abortion. Similar laws threaten to decimate access to safe, legal abortion in Alabama, Mississippi, and Oklahoma.
Statement from Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America
“This is outrageous. Today’s order will shutter all but one health center in the state, putting women’s health and lives at risk. When a similar law passed in Texas, women were forced to drive hundreds of miles, leave the state, or take matters into their own hands. It is irresponsible to allow this medically unnecessary restriction to go into effect less than a week before the Supreme Court will consider whether this type of law is even constitutional. This cannot be what it means to be a woman in America in 2016.”
Melaney Linton, CEO of Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast:
“Banning abortion in Louisiana is the real reason this law was passed. When this happened in Texas, we were flooded with frantic phone calls and women lined up outside our doors. Planned Parenthood’s top priority is the health and safety of our patients, and we will continue to do everything in our power to protect their access to care.”
Planned Parenthood is the nation's leading provider and advocate of high-quality, affordable health care for women, men, and young people, as well as the nation's largest provider of sex education. With approximately 700 health centers across the country, Planned Parenthood organizations serve all patients with care and compassion, with respect and without judgment. Through health centers, programs in schools and communities, and online resources, Planned Parenthood is a trusted source of reliable health information that allows people to make informed health decisions. We do all this because we care passionately about helping people lead healthier lives.
February 24, 2016