No rehearing for Louisiana abortion law

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A divided federal appeals court has refused to reconsider a decision upholding Louisiana's law requiring that abortion providers have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals.

The New Orleans-based 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals voted 9-6 against granting a rehearing to the law's opponents. A three judge-panel of the court had voted 2-1 in favor of the law in September.

The majority opinion by Judge Jerry E. Smith acknowledged a Supreme Court decision striking an admitting privileges law in Texas.

But Smith wrote that the Louisiana law does not impose the same burdens.

Friday’s decision added nothing to Smith’s earlier opinion. But Judge James Dennis wrote a highly critical 20-page dissent. Dennis said the Louisiana law provides no medical benefit for women and could seriously limit access for many.