Controversial Louisiana abortion law blocked by U.S. Supreme Court on Friday _lowres

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, right, speaks to reporters outside the Supreme Court in Washington, Wednesday, March 2, 2016, after the court heard arguments over Texas abortion clinic regulations in its biggest abortion case in nearly a quarter-century. Texas State Rep. Jodie Laubenberg, listens, third from left. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

When I had my first baby in 2018, it was after at least a dozen visits with my obstetrician over the course of many months. My OB walked me through every stage of my baby’s development, every uncomfortable and worrisome pregnancy symptom, and every question I had about the awe-inspiring process of labor and delivery.

These repeated interactions help ensure trust, cooperation, and an incentive to prioritize the patient’s best interests. Economics teaches us this, and so does life. With my second baby set to arrive this spring, I couldn’t imagine settling for less.

Contrast that with what you’ll find at a typical abortion clinic in Louisiana. After making a tidy profit in a single visit, the abortionist moves on to the next patient. That arrangement may be working out well for the business interests of abortion clinics, but it’s often put women in danger.

As state legislators put it in a recent brief that my legal team filed with the U.S. Supreme Court on their behalf, abortion clinics in Louisiana have a history of horror stories: failure to disinfect instruments, failure to track patients’ doses of narcotics, failure to stock IV fluids and unexpired medication, failure to monitor patients’ breathing and consciousness, lacerated arteries and uteruses, and more.

The failures detailed in voluminous reports from the Louisiana Department of Health are both gruesome and avoidable.

The Unsafe Abortion Protection Act takes a simple step toward correcting this health hazard. It requires abortion doctors to maintain admitting privileges at a nearby hospital. That helps ensure women’s well-being by guaranteeing that their abortion doctor can admit and treat them at the hospital should something go wrong during the abortion procedure.

U.S. Supreme Court set to take up Louisiana abortion law; case has implications nationally

Not a big ask. Other ambulatory surgical centers in Louisiana must do the same. Yet abortion clinics in the state have gone to extraordinary lengths to erase the law, appealing all the way to the nation’s high court, which will hear arguments in June Medical Services v. Gee on March 4.

Tellingly, it wasn’t women who contested this law protecting their well-being. It was abortion doctors. Rather than comply with the law and make a good-faith effort to gain hospital admitting privileges, abortion doctors and their businesses went to court.

Like the fox guarding the henhouse, the conflict of interest here is hard to miss. Women don’t need abortionists to speak for them.

Instead, women seeking abortions deserve the same competent and quality care as I’ve had through my two pregnancies. Women don’t give up that right when they choose abortion. We all deserve qualified medical services. Everyone — whatever their view on abortion — should agree with that.

Denise Harle

Legal Counsel, Alliance Defending Freedom

Washington, D.C.