Strike down anti-abortion laws

Los Angeles Times: Several states have enacted laws in recent years that require doctors who perform abortions at clinics to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals. These laws, masquerading as measures to protect the health of women, are nothing more than underhanded attempts to obstruct access to abortion services.

In every state where such a law has been passed, it would result in the closure of at least some abortion clinics, making it substantially more difficult for women to get the reproductive care to which they are constitutionally entitled.

A U.S. appeals court panel late last month blocked Mississippi’s version of the law from going into effect, noting that it would close the only abortion clinic in the state, in violation of the Constitution. The doctors at the clinic had tried and failed to get admitting privileges at the seven hospitals in the area; at five of the seven they were denied because the hospitals refuse privileges to any doctor who performs abortions, presumably to avoid controversy or for religious reasons.

Abortion is one of many medical procedures routinely performed outside of hospitals by professionals who do not have hospital admitting privileges. Dentists, for instance, perform procedures on patients who occasionally have complications and must go to an emergency room. For states to restrict abortion providers in a way that they don’t restrict other providers is unnecessary, unfair to women seeking legal abortions, and an obvious ploy to curtail abortions. These laws should be struck down by the courts.

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