Friday was the kind of day you don't want to repeat often.
As you may have noted in the news, Attorney General Landry announced last Tuesday that the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals denied the Center for Reproductive Rights' petition for an en banc rehearing to the challenge of the Louisiana admitting privileges. Thus, the law was set to go into effect today Monday, January 28.
In response, last Friday the Center filed a motion with the Fifth Circuit to stay the mandate while they asked SCOTUS to weigh in on the case. It was swiftly denied. The Center then filed an emergency motion with the Supreme Court to block the Louisiana law, which is now slated to go into effect on February 4.
In a press release issued late Friday, Nancy Northrup, president and CEO of the Center said "The Fifth Circuit brazenly ignored recent U.S. Supreme Court precedent squarely on point. We are filing an emergency motion today with the Supreme Court to block this law before women in Louisiana are harmed. There is no way this law can stand under the Supreme Court ruling in Whole Woman's Health, which struck down the same law in Texas."
In the meantime, all three clinics are open and operating, and the New Orleans Abortion Fund continues to provide valuable financial assistance to callers seeking care.
NOAF stands with Louisianans and people across the Gulf Coast who will be hurt by this decision. We will continue to provide financial assistance, education, and fight back against these draconian laws that disproportionately impact low-income patients, people in rural communities, women of color, undocumented immigrants, people impacted by trauma, and other marginalized Louisianans.
To meet the challenge we doubled our weekly intake budget, and are exploring additional practical support services, as well as working with clinics and coalition partners to field media requests and educate the larger community about the impact possible clinic closures may have on our community.
These regulations have no basis in medical necessity. Abortion providers are licensed and well-trained, clinics are safe, and fewer than 1% of abortion patients experience any complications. The Roe v. Wade anniversary that we honored just last week commemorates legal abortion, but it means nothing if abortion is inaccessible. Louisiana needs more healthcare, not extremism.
As always, I thank you for your steadfast support of the New Orleans Abortion Fund. With your help, we will continue to provide clinic escorting and financial assistance to those seeking abortion care. NOAF has fought for abortion access in Louisiana and throughout the Gulf Coast since 2012, and we're not giving up now.
Amy Irvin, MSSW
New Orleans Abortion Fund