Admitting Privileges for Abortion Providers Upheld

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NEW ORLEANS - March 28, 2014 - PRLog -- A unanimous panel of three women judges on the U.S. Fifth Circuit rejected Planned Parenthood's constitutional challenge to Texas H.B. 2 (2013).  Among other provisions, the legislation requires abortion providers to (1) have admitting privileges at a local hospital, and (2) to follow FDA protocol when administering the abortion drug regimen known as RU-486.

The opinion, written by Judge Edith Jones, explained that “Requiring abortion providers to have admitting privileges would also promote the continuity of care in all cases, reducing the risk of injury caused by miscommunication and misdiagnosis when a patient is transferred from one health care provider to another.”

The 5th Circuit concluded that “the State acted within its prerogative to regulate the medical profession by heeding these patient-centered concerns and requiring abortion practitioners to obtain admitting privileges at a nearby hospital.”

As to so-called "medication abortions," the court noted that Planned Parenthood administers this dangerous drug regimen beyond the time approved by the FDA:

"Since the FDA authorized the protocol for medication abortions in 2000, doctors performing such abortions in Texas, and apparently across the country, have developed an off–label protocol that differs from the FDA–approved version in terms of dosage amounts and administration of the two abortion drugs—mifepristone and misoprostol. In particular, although the [label] limits the administration of a medication abortion to forty–nine days following a woman’s last menstrual period (“LMP”), doctors regularly administer medication abortions up to sixty–three days LMP, and sometimes as late as seventy days LMP."

The court rejected Planned Parenthood's facial challenge, ruling that the statute's restriction to the time period approved by the FDA did not on its face create an undue burden.

A district court had previously struck down the two provisions of TX H.B. 2 in Planned Parenthood of Texas Surgical Health Services v. Abbott. An amicus brief was filed on behalf of Bioethics Defense Fund, along with Alliance Defending Freedom and Family Research Counsel.

Dorinda Bordlee, senior counsel of Bioethics Defense Fund, said, "The Fifth Circuit's ruling is good news for legislation filed in Louisiana by Representative Katrina Jackson.  We commend the court for putting women's health and safety above the business model of the nation's largest abortion provider."

BDF president Nikolas T. Nikas encourages policy makers to contact Bioethics Defense Fund for assistance in drafting similar bills.

- Read the Opinion of the Fifth Circuit: AbbottAppellateDecision (

- Learn about the BDF-drafted "Unsafe Abortion Prevention Act" bill by Louisiana Rep. Katrina Jackson, and stats on deaths and injuries related to RU-486: Factsheet on Jackson HB 388 (

Dorinda C. Bordlee
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Tags:Abortion, Planned Parenthood, Texas, Prolife, Women
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Location:New Orleans - Louisiana - United States
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