Clinics Challenge LA Inspection Order

Louisiana’s five abortion clinics and other abortion providers filed a federal lawsuit against Gov. Mike Foster and other Louisiana state health officials, charging that an executive order allowing inspections of abortion clinics without warrant or consent is a thinly-veiled attempt to close clinics and violates a women’s constitutional right to abortion. The order also applies to businesses offering tattoos or body-piercing.

“Gov. Foster’s order unfairly singles out abortion from all other health care and places unjustifiable burdens on abortion providers,” said plaintiffs’ attorney Priscilla Smith of The Center for Reproductive Law and Policy. Plaintiffs further charge that the order is a threat to the confidentiality of patient records and patient-doctor relationships.

Under the executive order, inspections are ordered when complaints are filed against a given clinic. Gov. Foster said that his pro-life stance did not drive the order, and claims that the order was created out of concern about the sanitary conditions at clinics. “I’m pro-life, but that’s not what this is about,” he said.


AP - February 18, 1999

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