Protect Women Instead of Abortionists, Say Black Activists

The Project 21 black leadership network is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold a Louisiana law requiring abortionists to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital, noting that black women are at risk of unnecessary and disproportionate harm during abortion procedures.

Project 21 signed onto a amici curiae (“friends of the court”) legal brief in the case of June Medical Services v. Gee, which will be argued on March 4. The brief, representing black conservative and pro-life organizations, asked the justices to uphold the lower court ruling in favor of Louisiana’s Act 620. This law requires “that every physician who performs or induces an abortion shall ‘have active admitting privileges at a hospital that is located not further than 30 miles from the location at which the abortion is performed or induced.'”

Declaring that “[t]he black community experiences a disproportionate share of abortions, often from doctors that do not have the same credentials as those who perform other forms of surgery,” the brief noted that the law “confers a substantial medical benefit that justifies any minimal burden.” It added that opponents “seek to escape the oversight that admitting privileges provide.”

“Once again, the U.S. Supreme Court will tackle laws created by conservative states to ensure that women who choose to abort their unborn babies will have the safest experience possible. With Planned Parenthood clinics across the country – like one near me in St. Louis that has had over 80 ambulance calls over the past ten years – it is clear that abortion isn’t always safe,” said Project 21 Co-Chairman Stacy Washington. “Requiring abortion doctors to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital makes medical sense.”

Authored by former White House counsel C. Boyden Gray, the legal brief argued that Act 620 promotes women’s health – and black women’s interests, in particular, by:

  • “requiring that abortion providers employ competent, credentialed physicians.”
  • “ensuring abortionists have “undergone the same verifications of surgical ability, education, training, practice record, and criminal history as physicians at other outpatient clinics.”
  • making sure abortionists have “malpractice or other misconduct reports appear in the National Practitioner Data Bank.”
  • showing that abortionists “can maintain continuity of care in the event of an emergency that requires her hospitalization.”

Project 21, a leading voice of black conservatives for over 25 years, is sponsored by the National Center for Public Policy Research. Its members have been quoted, interviewed or published over 40,000 times since the program was created in 1992. Contributions to the National Center are tax-deductible and greatly appreciated, and may be earmarked exclusively for the use of Project 21.

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