February 26, 2016
The Fifth's Commandment

The Fifth's Commandment

With pro-life successes sweeping the nation, the Left's only hope to maintain their liberal grip on the culture seems to be the courts. Even that proved to be an unreliable avenue in Louisiana, where the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals just stepped aside and let the state's abortion regulations take effect. Essentially, the law -- much like Texas's H.B. 2 -- asked clinics to meet the basic safety standards of a normal medical facility. As ADF's Steven Aden pointed out, "Abortionists shouldn't be given a free pass to elude medical requirements that everyone else is required to follow."

For an industry supposedly predicated on "women's health," you'd think the clinics would be supportive. Think again. The abortion industry flew into action, raising an army to try with unelected judges what it couldn't do with the people's representatives -- kill these clinic laws. The legislature's goal was simple: to protect more women from an unregulated Kermit Gosnell-type clinic, which tragically resulted in some mothers' deaths.

Under Louisiana's new law (which complimented one that I authored in the state legislature back in 1999), abortionists would be required to have admitting privileges to a hospital within 30 miles of the clinic. It's a common-sense idea that protects women in danger of losing their lives to medical complications. For various reasons, most abortionists have trouble getting this kind of access. As a result, abortion advocates say all but one of the state's abortion clinics will close -- not because the law or the courts are shutting them down, but because they refuse to take the necessary steps to comply and put the health of women first.

Of course, Planned Parenthood allies complained that leaders had created "reproductive health crisis," but honestly, the only crisis is an abortion industry that continues to put profits above patients. Now, thanks to the 5th Circuit, and the legal team that defended the law, which included State Rep. Mike Johnson, Louisiana can enforce the law while the challenge continues moving through the courts. "We reversed the district court and permitted the law to go into effect because the plaintiffs had not demonstrated that the law placed an undue burden on a large fraction of women," the three-judge panel ruled.

Not only is the court's decision encouraging, but it shows the ground pro-lifers have gained in the last two decades. If we don't lose heart, we will reap -- eventually. Hopefully, this victory will serve as an important reminder that we need to act with immediacy but think eternally.