NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A federal appeals court has ruled that a group of Louisianaabortion providers lack the standing to challenge part of a 1997 law that can make them liable for damage caused by an abortion procedure and denies them access to a state-run fund for paying malpractice judgments.

A three-judge panel from the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday overturned a ruling last year by U.S. District Judge Helen "Ginger" Berrigan, who said Louisianacannot enforce the 1997 law.

A lawyer for Hope Medical Group for Women and two physicians who performed abortions there told The Times-Picayune ( that they hadn't decided whether to seek a rehearing by the 5th Circuit or ask the U.S. Supreme Court to review the case.