"Women and girls would be afforded better health care. That's the big picture," she said.
Two of the five abortion doctors in the state have secured admitting privileges, in New Orleans and Shreveport, respectively. However, the Shreveport doctor said he could not handle this work on his own. A lower court judge agreed that the regulation would leave the New Orleans doctor as the only abortion doctor and at the only clinic in the state.
Murrill characterized the measure as a common-sense way to protect women's health. Abortion doctors who failed to secure admitting privileges should have tried harder.
"Any failure to have privileges is attributable to their sitting on their hands," she said.
Kathleen Pittman, director of Hope Medical Group for Women, an abortion clinic subsidiary of June Medical Services, told the New York Times that hospitals do not have incentives to provide admitting privileges and sometimes decline for economic and political reasons, including the possibility of public opposition. The State Board of Medical Examiners sufficiently credentials and licenses physicians, she said, defending abortion as safe. She said hospitalizations after abortion are rare.
A 2017 federal district court decision striking down the law said only four patients of Hope Clinic in the previous 23 years of operation required transfer to a hospital for treatment. The clinic serves about 3,000 patients a year.
"In each instance, regardless of whether the physician had admitting privileges, the patient received appropriate care," Judge John W. deGravelles of the Federal District Court of Baton Rouge said.
A panel of the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, however, upheld the law on the grounds that it brought abortion provider standards in line with standards for ambulatory surgical centers.
Also in defense of the law is a brief submitted to the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of the Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Health Dr. Rebekah Gee.
Louisiana began licensing abortion clinics after reports of "shockingly unsanitary and dangerous conditions" at abortion clinics prompted a 1999 executive order by then-Gov. Mike Foster. When the state legislature considered the bill in 2014, witnesses who testified in the bill's favor included two doctors who later served as witnesses for the state during the trial.
"Louisiana abortion clinics have a long, disturbing history of serious health and safety problems, among other failures of legal compliance," Gee's brief argued. It said abortion "carries known risks of serious complications that may require intervention in a hospital."
(Story continues below)
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National medical organizations, including the American Medical Association, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and the American Academy of Pediatrics, filed an amicus brief against Louisiana's law. They asked the court to uphold its 2016 decision.
Some supporters of Louisiana's law say it significantly differs from Texas' law that did not survive the Supreme Court. They cite the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that the Louisiana law aims to align the clinics' surgical abortion standards with those of ambulatory surgical centers.
Jackson said she had long hoped for a breakthrough on eliminating abortion.
"I prayed one day that it would come, but I never thought it would be with this bill," she told the Washington Post.
"In a post-Roe v. Wade society, I always figured Louisiana would be there. With a number of other states maybe, but Louisiana would always be one of them."
In February 2019, the Supreme Court temporarily blocked Louisiana's law from taking effect.