Catholic doctor explains why abortion clinics should have hospital admitting privileges

The Supreme Court heard June Medical Services v. Russo Wednesday morning. The Court will decide if a state (Louisiana, in this case) has the right to require abortion clinics to have admitting privileges to a hospital before they can perform human abortions in their clinics.

Let’s look at the law and today’s hearing:

Has the Court ever had a case similar to this?

Yes. Texas passed a similar law which the Court struck down in 2016 in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt in a 5 to 3 decision. Anthony Kennedy joined the liberal wing of the Court in voting to overturn the Texas law.

So what’s different with June Medical Services v. Russo from the previous case?

Not much, other than Bret Kavanaugh has replaced Anthony Kennedy on the Court, and Kavanaugh’s questions today appeared more sympathetic to the pro-life position than Kennedy’s four years ago.

What did Kavanaugh say?

He suggested that perhaps the Texas case should not apply to the Louisiana case, which would make it more likely for the pro-life Louisiana case to prevail.

Did anything else positive happen in today’s hearing from a pro-life perspective?

Yes. Justice Samuel Alito built upon a brief filed by the Trump administration that argues that these (pro) abortion suits should only be filed by individual patients seeking abortions, rather than the clinics that profit from the abortion trade, which would be a devastating blow to Big Abortion.

Do admitting privilege laws really do any good? After all, couldn’t a woman injured by an abortion procedure simply check herself into any hospital herself?

Dr. Grazie Pozo Christie

Dr. Grazie Pozo Christie

Yes, she probably could, but that’s not the point. Dr. Grazie Pozo Christie, a policy advisor for The Catholic Association, explains that with admitting privileges, “a patient with a serious complication will be admitted to the hospital by the doctor who knows exactly what went wrong, ensuring that continuity of care will be preserved.”

Can admitting privilege laws actually improve women’s reproductive health?

That’s the wrong questions, since abortion has nothing to do with women’s reproductive health. However, abortion clinics in Louisiana have a history of hiring incompetent doctors, as do so many abortion clinics around the country. Remember Dr. Kermit Gosnell?

Louisiana abortion doctors have been a danger to the reproductive health of Louisiana women, as the 5th Circuit Court found. They described these abortion ‘doctors’ as “incompetent,” “neglectful,” and “non-compliant.” One abortion doctor “used instruments that were rusty, cracked, and unsterile…”

In one case, the abortionist perforated the patient’s uterus, and “the patient continued to have moderate bleeding but the ambulance was not called for nearly three hours.” 

Again, do admitting privilege laws really make a difference?

Yes, according to Dr. Christie:

“admitting privileges act as a seal of approval and weed out dangerous practitioners with red flags on their records. This is crucial when the state’s abortion clinics have shown themselves incapable of (or uninterested in) hiring competent physicians to perform outpatient surgeries on vulnerable women.”

“It’s important to note that by requiring admitting privileges for abortion providers, the state of Louisiana isn’t singling them out for special treatment. Rather, the state seeks to bring them “into the same set of standards that apply to physicians providing similar types of services [in other ambulatory surgical centers.]” The guiding principle is this: Louisiana women going in for an abortion ought to be at least as safe as women going in for liposuction.”