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Louisiana judge reopens abortion clinic

WASHINGTON (BP)–A Louisiana judge has signed an order allowing a Shreveport abortion clinic to reopen and resume performing the lethal procedures while its license is under revocation for significant violations of health standards.

The order by 19th Judicial District Court Judge Michael Caldwell on Sept. 14 enabled Hope Medical Group for Women to resume its abortion business after the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals (LDHH) had ordered it to stop the procedures immediately Sept. 3.

“[W]e are very disappointed that the judge would put the special interests of this abortion facility over the health and safety of women,” LDHH Secretary Bruce Greenstein said in a written statement. “This order was signed without any notification to us and without any effort to hear from medical professionals about the risk to the facility’s clients posed by the violations our inspectors found.”

At an unannounced survey of the clinic Aug. 11-13, LDHH found the clinic did not perform physicals on women prior to their abortions and did not have qualified personnel to administer anesthesia or monitor patients’ conditions while under anesthesia.

On Sept. 20, five clinics and a doctor sued the state to challenge the new law that authorizes LDHH to close facilities immediately for standards violations.
Compiled by Baptist Press Washington bureau chief Tom Strode.

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