Planned Parenthood has apparently had enough of President Donald Trump and anti-abortion advocates. The reproductive healthcare nonprofit announced it would be investing $45 million in presidential, state, and congressional races this year to continue its fight for abortion rights, according to CBS News. Planned Parenthood Votes executive director Jenny Lawson told the news network that “The stakes have never been higher.” She said the Trump Administration “has managed to undo so much over the last three years.” One of the administration’s many targets is the landmark Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion in 1973. “The fact that this summer the Supreme Court might gut Roe v. Wade is an indicator of their intention and they’ve never been so bold,” Lawson said.
The Supreme Court is set to hear arguments March 4 in a legal challenge to a 2014 Louisiana law that’s temporarily blocked from mandating that doctors must have admitting privileges at local hospitals in order to perform abortions, according to the court docket. If allowed to take effect, the law would mean only one doctor would be authorized to perform abortions in Louisiana, according to The New York Times.
“Reports indicate this law could cause some of Louisiana’s five remaining health centers providing safe and legal abortion to close their doors, which could end access south of Shreveport,” Planned Parenthood said on its website. “A woman would have to drive up to 300 miles one way to obtain safe, legal abortion care.” The law is part of a “national trend,” the nonprofit added. “With these same dangerous restrictions enacted in neighboring states, the United States is becoming a country where a woman’s ability to make personal medical decisions without interference from politicians will be dependent upon where she lives,” Planned Parenthood said.
Louisiana Solicitor General Liz Murrill, who is representing the state in the Supreme Court case, told The Advocate the law is a common-sense protection. “Women deserve better than incompetent providers that put profits over people,” she told the newspaper. But a study analyzing the benefit of requiring abortion providers to have hospital admitting privileges found no such benefit exists, according to the research group Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health.
The study, approved by an institutional review board of the University of California, San Francisco, found that at three facilities in three states “physician admitting privilege laws did not appear to impact the ways in which abortion patients received hospital‐based care.”
”We found that few patients needed to be transferred to the hospital by ambulance,” researchers said online. “In addition, patients often sought follow-up care after they had returned home and in these cases admitting privileges do not apply.” In cases in which patients had to access emergency care, they often went to a nearby emergency department instead of the facility that granted the abortion provider’s admitting privileges. “If abortion providers determine there is a problem that requires hospital care when the patient first presents for abortion care, clinics already have protocols in place for communicating with hospitals,” researchers said.
The Louisiana law is nothing more than an exploited loophole: a wolf to women’s reproductive rights, wearing health and safety concerns as its sheep’s clothing.