Update: The Law That Could Leave This State With Just One Abortion Clinic Has Been Blocked — For Now

Photo: Gilbert Carrasquillo/Getty Images.
Update: The United States Supreme Court has ordered a stay on a Louisiana law regulating abortion providers in the state, the Associated Press reported Friday afternoon. The measure, which required doctors at abortion clinics to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals, is similar to the Texas law at the center of the Supreme Court case Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, which was heard by the court on Wednesday.

The Supreme Court’s order means that the law will not be enforced while it is still being challenged in the courts. But at least two clinics, in Baton Rouge and Bossier City, have already had to stop providing abortions, the AP said.

This story was originally published on February 25, 2016.

A federal appeals court in Louisiana has handed down a ruling that could force three of the state's four abortion clinics to close.

The ruling by New Orleans' Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals allows a 2014 state law to take effect amid an ongoing legal challenge, The Guardian reports. The law requires doctors who provide abortion services to have relationships with local hospitals.

Now, abortion clinics in Bossier City and Baton Rouge are expected to close as a result of the decision. Experts believe one of the remaining two state clinics will also shut down.

"That one clinic just obviously can't meet the need for safe and legal abortion in Louisiana," David Brown, attorney for the Center for Reproductive Rights, said during a conference call Thursday. "And so we don't know what will happen to women, but effectively, they're going to be turned away from clinics and have to make do on their own."

Jeff Landry, Louisiana's attorney general, defended the law, telling The Guardian that it is "a reasonable, common-sense safety measure."

Louisiana's restrictions have been compared to a measure in Texas that requires doctors at abortion clinics to "have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the clinic where they practice," The Washington Post explains. Oral arguments in an ongoing effort to overturn that law are set to be heard by the United States Supreme Court next week.

Advocates for reproductive rights have argued that Texas and Louisiana already limit access to safe and legal abortions. According to Planned Parenthood, Texas women have traveled to Louisiana to obtain legal abortions. Planned Parenthood also found that hundreds of thousands of women in Texas have attempted to perform their own abortions due to lack of access to legal services.

"When a similar law passed in Texas, women were forced to drive hundreds of miles, leave the state, or take matters into their own hands," Cecile Richards, president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, said in a statement provided to Refinery29. "This cannot be what it means to be a woman in America in 2016."

More from US News

But take heart. There won’t be a President Trump. Not if I and millions of other women in this country have anything to say about it
A young girl delivered a powerful message of peace speaking at the first Charlotte City Council meeting since violence threatened to rip the city apart ...
Hillary Clinton long ago learned to let the insults roll off her back. And in doing so, she’s uncovered Trump's Achilles' heel
If the chaotic party politics of the 2016 election have left you feeling completely birdbrained, this video is for you. The Founding Fathers (presented ...
Donald Trump believes that climate change is a hoax. Sorry, Donald Trump does not believe that climate change is a hoax. Are you confused yet? I don't ...
Less than 12 hours after being criticized for calling out a former Miss Universe about her weight, Donald Trump is doubling down on his body-shaming ...
Watching the first presidential debate, I felt three things: terror, inspiration, and skepticism
Election Day lasts just one day — a 24-hour culmination of the seemingly never-ending campaign season. But we’ll spend the next two, four, six years ...
"Wrong." "That makes me smart." "Why Not?" "Ugh." No, those aren't snippets of a conversation with a cranky 5-year-old. They're just a few of the ...
1. ICYMI: Charlotte lifted its curfew after days of protests following the shooting of Keith Lamont Scott. Scott, 43, was shot and killed last Tuesday...
When Donald Trump attacked her suitabilty for office during Monday's debate, Hillary Clinton was ready with the comeback of the evening. Towards...
People are already having feelings about the presidential debate — and no one’s even had time to finish their wine yet. Twitter was gearing up for the ...
Between Two Ferns With Zach Galifianakis: Hillary Clinton from Funny Or Die Update: Hillary Clinton's appearance on Between Two Ferns may have smashed ...
We're just hours away from the first presidential debate of the 2016 election. The 90-minute showdown between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump is ...