Southwest Louisiana reacts to the U.S. Supreme Court decision blocking controversial abortion law

Southwest Louisiana reacts to the U.S. Supreme Court decision blocking controversial abortion law

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - A controversial Louisiana abortion law was blocked by the U.S. Supreme Court Thursday. The law would have mandated abortion providers in the state to have admitting privileges to local hospitals.

Pro-life advocates in the Southwest Louisiana area say they’re disappointed with the ruling.

The law dates back to 2014 when it was first drafted by democratic representative Katrina Jackson to mandate abortion providers to have admitting privileges to a hospital within a 30-mile radius of where it was performed.

“I’m disappointed, in a certain sense, of what the Supreme Court did yesterday, but the reality is it’s more a procedural move for the Supreme Court to take a further look at the whole scope of the law," republican Senator Ronnie Johns, said.

Pro-life advocates like Marcia Schexnider, director of Life After Choice Abortion Recovery, said she believes the law is meant to provide a safety net for those who choose to have an abortion.

“I can’t imagine, as I said, I have had an abortion personally. I have also had several other surgeries in my life since then. I have never had another surgery that the physician didn’t have admitting privileges to a hospital. Even if it was in a same-day surgery unit, he had admitting privileges. So, I can’t imagine why we would want to have a surgical procedure from any physician that didn’t have admitting privileges within a 30-mile radius," Schexnider said.

Some others from across the state disagree, saying the law’s intention is to shut down abortion clinics.

“It’s a way in which you can restrict abortion in a way that really cuts into the availability of abortion," Professor Keith Werhan, Tulane constitutional law expert, said.

“The actual effect is that several clinics have closed down since the implementation of this law," Alanah Odom Hebert with ACLU of Louisiana, said.

The law was going to go into effect Friday, but was blocked in a 5 to 4 vote. Now, the high court will take a longer look at the law before issuing a final decision.

Copyright 2019 KPLC. All rights reserved.