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Louisiana abortion clinics ask Supreme Court to block law

[JURIST] Louisiana abortion clinics and doctors on Friday filed a new application [document, PDF] with the US Supreme Court [official website] attempting to block a 2014 state law that would require three of the four remaining abortion clinics in the state to close. The law, which went into effect for the first time on Thursday after the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit [official website] allowed [JURIST report] its enforcement, requires [SCOTUSblog report] that doctors performing abortions have patient-admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the abortion clinic. If this law were to continue to be enforced, three of the four remaining abortion clinics in Louisiana would have to shut down, leaving only one remaining doctor to perform abortions in the entire state. The law is identical to a Texas law that the court will address next Wednesday in Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt [SCOTUSblog backgrounder]. The court will most likely have to rule on the Louisiana matter soon, as it has already caused two clinics to shut down in a matter of days.

Abortion procedures and reproductive rights issues have been heated topics throughout the US. Last week the Indiana Senate released a bill [JURIST report] from committee that would ban abortions based on genetic disabilities and would also require aborted or miscarried fetuses to be cremated or interred. Also last week the Oklahoma Supreme Court reversed [JURIST report] a lower court decision upholding a law that restricts use of medication abortion drugs. Earlier this month Ohio's governor signed [JURIST report] a bill that would purportedly cut state-funds to Planned Parenthood by $1.3 million.

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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