The Supreme Court struck down a Texas abortion law today, which could mean a similar Louisiana law is coming off the books as well. The law required abortion doctors to have admitting privileges at hospitals, and Louisiana has similar legislation. Loyola law professor Dane Ciolino says the ramifications of this ruling could reach into our state.

“What the court will do is enter what it calls a GVR order, in which it will grant and vacate this circuit’s current ruling, and then remand, send the case back to the Fifth Circuit to consider it in light of today’s opinion,” Ciolino said.

The Louisiana law was blocked by a federal judge, but in February the Fifth Circuit granted a request by Attorney General Jeff Landry to overrule the lower court and allow the law to take effect. Landry issued a statement saying his office will review the implications of today’s Supreme Court’s ruling on Louisiana’s law, but will continue to fight Louisiana’s case to protect women’s health. Ciolino says the justices ruled the law violates the Constitution.

“What it says is that Texas’ restrictions on abortion impose an undue burden on a woman’s right to choose whether to carry her pregnancy to term,” Ciolino said.

Landry’s statement also says “our law is both factually and legally different from the Texas law.” But Ciolino says Louisiana’s law is at least as restrictive as the one in our neighboring state.

“The Fifth Circuit is not going to have very man options, given that Louisiana’s law is at least as restrictive, and properly reviewed even more restrictive, than the Texas law,” Ciolino said.

Meanwhile, La. Attorney General Jeff Landry had the following response to today's ruling:

“In 2014, our duly elected legislators almost unanimously passed Act 620 to require doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges. Unfortunately, the Supreme Court today ruled against common-sense legislation passed by the State of Texas. Our law is both factually and legally different from the Texas law. The outcome in the Texas case was heavily based upon the facts and record in that particular situation.

 

My office and I will be carefully reviewing the impact of the opinion, if any, on the Louisiana's admitting privileges law; however, we remain committed to enforcing our state's pro-life and pro-woman laws. Under my watch, the Louisiana Department of Justice will continue to do all we legally can to protect the unborn, their mothers, and all Louisiana women.”