The law requires physicians who perform the procedure to have
admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles (48 km) of the
place where the abortion is performed.
U.S. District Judge John deGravelles granted a preliminary
injunction sought by abortion providers, finding that the law
violated women's rights to obtain an abortion.
"Without an injunction, Louisiana women will suffer significantly
reduced access to constitutionally protected abortion services,
which will likely have serious health consequences," he wrote in the
Due to legal challenges, the restrictions had not gone into effect
in Louisiana, one of 10 states that has adopted admitting privilege
restrictions, according to the Center for Reproductive Rights, which
represented abortion providers in the case.
Proponents see such regulations as protecting women, while critics
call them medically unnecessary and intended to force clinics to
In five other states, courts also have blocked similar abortion
restrictions, the reproductive rights group said.
"We are confident that courts across the country will continue to
strike down these sham measures as clear violations of women’s
health, rights, and dignity,” said Nancy Northup, president and CEO
of the Center for Reproductive Rights in a statement.
The U.S. Supreme Court will weigh in on the issue this year in a
challenge to a 2013 Texas law that imposed similar restrictions on
abortion providers, prompting the closure of about half of the
state's 40 licensed abortion facilities.
[to top of second column]
While the high court legalized abortion in 1973, a woman's right to
terminate a pregnancy remains contentious in the United States. In
recent years, conservative-leaning states have passed a wave of
The Louisiana law was enacted under the state's former Republican
governor, Bobby Jindal.
In Tuesday's ruling, the judge scheduled a status conference on
Friday to consider whether the preliminary injunction should be made
(Reporting by Letitia Stein in Tampa, Florida; Additional reporting
by Jon Herskovitz in Austin, Texas; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)
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