In its decision, the Fifth Circuit said that the burdens the Louisiana law would impose on abortion access were vastly less than what the Texas law brought. "Few Louisiana hospitals" required a doctor to see a minimum number of patients in order to have admitting privileges, unlike in Texas where "almost all" hospitals had such requirements, the court said. While most clinics in Texas closed because of its law, "only one doctor at one clinic is currently unable to obtain privileges" in Louisiana, the court noted.
In February, the Supreme Court temporarily blocked Louisiana's law from going into effect, after a petion from abortion providers and activists. The newest justice on the Court, Brett Kavanaugh, wrote a dissent from the decision to grant a temporary stay on the law, saying that the petition did not demonstrate a case for harm before the law had come into effect and that the public should be able to determine its effect.
In response to the court's February decision, the chair of the U.S. bishops' pro-life committee, Archbishop Joseph Naumann, stated that the law simply required "basic health standards" of abortion clinics, and that the court's stay, together with the abortion industry fighting the law, "is further evidence of how abortion extremism actively works against the welfare of women."
"Regardless of this disappointing ruling, the pro-life movement will continue to work and pray for the day when every legislature and court recognizes the brutal injustice of abortion-to women and their children alike-and our society sees abortion as unthinkable," Archbishop Nauman stated.
Matt Hadro was the political editor at Catholic News Agency through October 2021. He previously worked as CNA senior D.C. correspondent and as a press secretary for U.S. Congressman Chris Smith.