Abortion Clinics Are Too Early in Licensing Fight
Louisiana abortion clinics cannot yet challenge a rule that would immediately suspend their licenses for minor state-law violations, the 5th Circuit ruled.
A 2010 amendment to Louisiana’s Outpatient Abortion Facility Licensing Law (Act 490) provides that the Louisiana Health and Hospitals Department may immediately suspend an abortion clinic’s license if the secretary finds the licensee in violation of any regulation.
The original law required the finding of “a substantial failure … to comply,” and it let licensees appeal to a district court. The amended version, however, limited a licensee’s appellate options to the health department.
Choice and four other abortion clinics filed a pre-emptive challenge to the amendment, claiming that it violates their rights to due process and equal protection.
A federal judge dismissed the case, however, after finding that the clinics could not prove hardship under the amended act.
The Atlanta-based federal appeals court affirmed last week, voting 2-1 that the clinics cannot yet show whether they have been damaged by the act.