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Louisiana Department of Health & Hospitals | Kathy Kliebert, Secretary

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Federal Court of Appeals Rules in DHH’s Favor

Friday, August 17, 2012  |  Contact: Media & Communications: Phone: 225.342.1532, E-mail: dhhinfo@la.gov

BATON ROUGE - Today, the Federal Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in DHH's favor and dismissed the lawsuit by abortion providers in a case that challenged the constitutionality of Louisiana Act 490, a law that grants the secretary of DHH the authority to immediately suspend an abortion facility’s license to operate.

"Act 490 gives DHH an important tool to protect the health and safety of Louisiana women,” said DHH Secretary Bruce D. Greenstein. "We are reassured by the court’s decision and continue to focus on promoting high quality health care for all of our residents."

Act 490 of the 2010 Louisiana Legislature, sponsored by state Sen. Fred Mills of St. Martinville while he was serving in the House of Representatives, allows for the immediate suspension of an abortion facility’s license if the DHH “secretary determines that the violation or violations pose an immediate threat to the health, welfare, or safety of a client or patient.” Prior to Act 490, an abortion facility under licensure revocation would be allowed to continue performing abortions pending appeal of such revocation, which can take months.

"I am encouraged that the court ruled favorably regarding this important piece of legislation," said Sen. Fred Mills. "It's critical that our state be able to take the necessary action to protect the health and safety of Louisiana residents."