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Louisiana: Texas Abortion Ruling Reopens Question In La. Case

Ryan E. Poppe
TPR News

NEW ORLEANS — Eleven days before trial, Louisiana has asked a federal judge to throw out one of two claims against its law requiring doctors who perform abortions to be able to admit patients to a hospital within 30 miles.

Tuesday’s ruling for a different Texas law erases abortion clinics’ planned arguments that legislators passed Louisiana's law to keep women from getting abortions, said Kyle Duncan, a Washington, D.C., attorney representing the state.

Part of Tuesday’s ruling “says disagreement over medical necessity of a law is no basis for saying the Legislature had a bad purpose in passing it,” Duncan said in a phone interview Thursday, the day his motion was filed before U.S. District Judge John deGravelles.

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling sets law for Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi unless the Supreme Court overturns it. The other question before deGravelles is whether doctors performing abortions in Louisiana would be able to get admitting privileges, or whether the law would make it unconstitutionally difficult for women to get abortions.

“We are confident the court will continue to block Louisiana’s sham health and safety law in favor of truly protecting women's health — and their constitutional rights,” said Ilene Jaroslaw, senior staff attorney at the Center for Reproductive Rights, in an emailed statement. The center represents three of Louisiana’s five abortion clinics.

She could not comment directly about the motion's arguments because the center has not yet filed its response, spokeswoman Jennifer Miller said in an email. DeGravelles has scheduled trial without a jury starting June 22. (AP)