For Immediate Release: Dec. 3, 2019

Contact: Benjamin Clapper
504.228.4273
bclapper@prolifelouisiana.org
Court Gag Rule Hiding Secrets of the Abortion Industry from Supreme Court
5th Circuit's Judge Elrod Reveals Potential Illegal Activity at Abortion Facilities
NEW ORLEANS – On Wednesday, Nov. 25, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals released a concurring opinion that revealed critical information about potentially illegal conduct at abortion facilities in Louisiana. Hope Medical Group for Women, the Shreveport abortion facility at the center of the upcoming U.S. Supreme Court case, June Medical Services v. Gee, continues its fight to hide this information from the public, law enforcement, and the U.S. Supreme Court.

In the decision released the day before Thanksgiving, the Fifth Circuit issued a procedural ruling regarding Louisiana's petition for the unsealing of court documents in a separate case brought by the same Shreveport abortion clinic. Louisiana argued that the district court had issued an overly broad protective order that possibly hides criminal conduct from the public and prevents the state from making criminal referrals and from bringing the information to the attention of the U.S. Supreme Court in the related case that will be argued March 4, 2020. 

The Fifth Circuit denied the mandamus petition on technical grounds but indicated that Louisiana may file an appeal to unseal the documents through an expedited review.
Notably, Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Jennifer Walker Elrod issued a concurring opinion hammering the district court’s protective order. Judge Elrod's concurrence reveals a sealed deposition in which one abortionist, Dr. Doe 2, claims that another Louisiana abortionist, Dr. Doe 5, is inducing labor on women during the second trimester in order to perform an abortion. Elrod writes that Doe 2 stated that this type of procedure in the second trimester is outside the standard of care and a live birth is "certainly a possibility."

In addition, the concurrence indicates that the sealed documents contain evidence of unreported statutory rape, unauthorized abortion on a minor, and improper destruction of patient records.

Benjamin Clapper, Executive Director of Louisiana Right to Life, said: "Judge Elrod’s concurrence confirms our observation that the federal district court judges in the Louisiana Middle District Court located in Baton Rouge seem to be acting to protect the abortion industry at all costs. It seems that these Obama-appointed judges may be guarding the most egregious secrets of the abortion industry from the eyes of the public and even the Supreme Court.

"These sealed documents are potentially indicating that Dr. Doe 5 has performed abortions outside the standard of care and that live birth may be occurring at the same time. If live births have occurred, is Doe 5 providing medical care to these babies, consistent with the requirements of LA RS 40:1061.12? This matter must be investigated by the Louisiana Department of Health and the Board of Medical Examiners, and judges should not be able to stand in the way of these investigations.

"Abortion attorneys in June Medical Services v. Gee argue that they are acting in the best interest of women in general. These secret documents seem to paint a different picture. The Supreme Court, law enforcement, and the public should have access to this critical information. The reality of the abuses of the abortion industry should not be hidden behind the robes of federal court judges any longer," Clapper concluded.


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