BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - A federal judge issued a ruling Sunday night that Louisiana doctors can continue to perform abortions while they seek newly-mandated admitting privileges from hospitals.
Judge John deGravelles granted a temporary restraining order against the penalty portion of the law that still took effect at midnight.
Act 620, which was passed by the Louisiana Legislature this year, requires doctors to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of their clinic. However, doctors say they're still waiting on decisions from those hospitals. The ruling states doctors won't be penalized while they wait.
"We care about women and so, that makes sense to us that doctors who are working with these women would have admitting privileges so that there's continuity of care," said Angie Thomas, CEO of Woman's New Life Center.
"In order for a hospital to grant admitting privileges, the hospitals want the doctors to be able to send a certain number of patients per year, but if what you do is one of the safest procedures, you're not going to be sending people to the hospital because they won't need hospitalization," added Marjorie Esman, executive director of the ACLU of Louisiana.
The judge will set a date to decide whether to issue a preliminary injunction against the law in the next month. Requiring admitting privileges is an anti-abortion strategy that's now been proposed in a number of states.