Thursday, September 5, 2013
Fifth Circuit Denies Abortion Providers Standing To Challenge Louisiana Law Imposing Strict Liability for Performing Abortions
The TownTalk/AP: Appeals court rules against La. abortion providers:
A federal appeals court has ruled that a group of Louisiana abortion providers lack the standing to challenge part of a 1997 law that can make them liable for damage caused by an abortion procedure and denies them access to a state-run fund for paying malpractice judgments.
A three-judge panel from the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday overturned a ruling last year by U.S. District Judge Helen “Ginger” Berrigan, who said Louisiana cannot enforce the 1997 law. . . .
The law at issue essentially subjects abortion providers to strict liability simply for performing an abortion and excludes them from the benefits of Louisiana's medical malpractice reform regime. In deciding the original, preenforcement challenge to this law, the Fifth Circuit held in 2001 that plaintiffs could not obtain relief because the law creates only a private cause of action not enforced by the state. I wrote about Okpalobi v. Foster here: Legislative Arrogance and Constitutional Accountability.