AG Landry calls on LDH to enforce emergency order against Shreveport abortion clinic

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An exterior photo of the Hope Medical Group for Women on February 20, 2020 in Shreveport, Louisiana. have admitting privileges to a nearby hospital. The Supreme Court heard the case on March 4. (AP Photo / Rebecca Santana)

SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL / KMSS) – A representative from an abortion clinic in Shreveport confirms that it continues to see patients and provide services while complying with recommendations from the Louisiana Department of Health and CDC recommendations amid emergency orders issued in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The confirmation comes after Attorney General Jeff Landry released a statement early Saturday night citing “reports” that the clinic is ignoring a order issued by the Louisiana Department of Health Last Saturday, all medical procedures and elective surgeries in the state were suspended due to the coronavirus.

“While healthcare workers actually treating coronavirus patients experience severe shortages of personal protective equipment, June Medical continues to conduct its business irresponsibly – dangerously putting countless people at additional risk,” said Landry in the press release. “Not only should June Medical and all abortion providers in Louisiana comply with the public safety order, but they should also follow the generous lead of other medical institutions and donate their supplies to local hospitals that do. desperately need it.

The Louisiana attorney general’s office said it has received several reports and photos confirming trafficking at the Hope abortion clinic in recent days, which they say is in violation of COVID-19 emergency orders issued by the Louisiana Department of Health. (Source: Louisiana Attorney General’s Office)

Landry’s office later told KTAL / KMSS that in addition to several reports and photos confirming the trafficking in recent days, the clinic’s lawyers “sent a letter this week to LDH clearly stating their intention to challenge l ‘order and not to delay proceedings’.

In his statement, Landry called on acting LDH secretary Stephen Russo to enforce the order and shut down the Shreveport clinic.

“Again this week, the governor warned that ‘we are seeing a disturbing sign in northwest Louisiana’. June Medical is once again putting its profits at the expense of the health and safety of the public. I hope the Governor’s Health Secretary recognizes that elective abortions are not essential procedures and fully enforces the LDH ordinance.

The Center for Reproductive Rights, a legal advocacy organization representing the clinic, says the services provided by Hope Medical Group are essential.

AAbortion is an essential and urgent health care that must remain available during this pandemic, especially because every pregnancy is unique and can pose significant health risks. Hope Medical Group sees patients and complies with all LDH guidelines and CDC recommendations.

Kelly Krause, Center for Reproductive Rights

Landry’s statement indicates that the LDH advisory also applies statewide to all licensed medical facilities and medical professionals under LDH’s authority, “and that it orders the immediate postponement of all elective medical procedures and surgeries that are not necessary to treat an emergency medical condition or immediately necessary to prevent further harm to a patient. “

Landry also notes that the order follows the U.S. Center for Disease Control’s guidelines for elective surgeries at this time, and is similar to orders from state health departments across the country.

However, the ordinance includes exceptions for medical procedures to treat “an emergency medical condition … such that the lack of immediate medical attention could reasonably result in: (a) The unhealthy condition of the patient. individual or, in the case of a pregnant woman, the health of the woman or her unborn child) seriously endangered… ”

The Hope Medical Group for Women is one of three in the state offering abortions to women, and it is challenging a state law that requires doctors who perform abortions to have hospital admitting privileges. neighbour. Russo and former Secretary of the State Department of Health and Hospitals, Dr. Rebekah Gee, are named as defendants in the lawsuit. The Supreme Court heard the case on March 4. Opinions are generally delivered during the months of May and June. It is not yet clear whether an opinion in the case can still be expected during this time due to the coronavirus pandemic.

KTAL / KMSS has contacted the Louisiana Department of Health to comment on the attorney general’s statement and whether the Hope Medical Group is under investigation for violating the March 21 order.

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