The largely conservative United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit issued an “emergency decision” last week, in an attempt to drastically reduce a physician’s ability to perform abortions in the 3 states under their jurisdiction (Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas). The “decision” led to the closing of several abortion clinics in the region, leaving the state of Louisiana with only one of its five clinics continuing to remain open as a result of the law.
The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) however, promptly stepped in on Friday, issuing an order against the Court of Appeals to reopen those clinics which would otherwise have closed down. The SCOTUS order comes as great news for pro-choice activists in the region.
The move was unsurprising on the part of SCOTUS, considering that the “emergency decision” by the Court of Appeals took the form of a Louisiana state law requiring physicians to gain admittance from a nearby hospital in order to perform the procedure, a move that effectively tries to overturn the Roe Vs Wade ruling of 1973. That particular ruling stressed a right of privacy for a woman to make the decision to have an abortion, unless it threatens the “health of the pregnant woman.”
Many conservative-led anti-abortion bills, however, are increasingly being drafted under the guise of “protecting women’s health,” hence the requirements for hospital admittance. This deceptive practice has been skillfully obscured by the organizations drafting this legislation, with many of them operating without the wider knowledge of the general public.
The language of the law derives from a piece of model legislation produced by Americans United for Life (AUL), an anti-abortion “bill mill” similar to the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). AUL writes anti-choice model legislation for right-wing state legislators throughout the nation. The organization’s website states that their model legislation “enables legislators to easily introduce bills without needing to research and write the bills themselves.” The model bill produced by the organization is titled “Abortion Providers Privileging Act.”
To learn more about how this “bill mill” process works, and the poisonous effect it has on our state legislatures, here is a clip from one of John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight clips exposing the issue:
Oliver has also recently addressed state-level abortion issues as well. You can view his program’s work on this topic here: