Attorney General Ken Paxton today filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the United States Supreme Court calling for dismissal of a constitutional challenge to a Louisiana law that requires abortion doctors to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital. Although no patient has sued over Louisiana’s law, abortion doctors and clinics have been permitted to bring this lawsuit “on behalf of” unknown, hypothetical future patients. But allowing abortion providers to bring these kinds of claims enables them to eliminate health-and-safety standards with which they disagree, to the detriment of their patients.
“As we witnessed in the case of Kermit Gosnell, who killed and injured women in his substandard and dangerous clinic, lack of regulations and standards for abortion providers can lead to unsafe and sometimes life-threatening conditions for women seeking abortions,” said Attorney General Paxton. “Louisiana’s law promotes women’s health and safety by ensuring that abortion doctors can meet basic competency standards. The only lawsuit against it was filed by abortion providers who do not wish to comply with it. Women deserve to know that any doctor who treats them has the necessary skills to do so.”
Alternatively, Texas’s brief urges the Court to revisit and overturn its ruling in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, which invalidated Texas’s admitting-privileges law in 2016. The Court’s opinion in Hellerstedt was a departure from its prior abortion precedent and has opened the door to a slew of challenges brought by abortion providers to laws ranging from sterilization of instruments, to adequate staffing at clinics, to informed-consent and parental-notice rules. States have significant interests in patient safety and protection of unborn life, all of which are undermined by the Court’s erroneous decision in Hellerstedt. Thus, given the opportunity, Texas has asked the Court to repudiate its prior decision in Hellerstedt.
View a copy of the brief here.