Admitting Privileges of Two Doctors Illegally Revoked Because They Provide Abortions

April 17, 2014

AUSTIN—Today two doctors filed suit against University General Hospital in Dallas after the hospital revoked the doctors’ admitting privileges because they provide abortions on their own time, off site. This is a clear violation of the law, which prohibits hospitals from discriminating against doctors because they provide abortions.

As a medical matter, doctors who provide abortions do not need admitting privileges because abortion is an extremely safe procedure and, in the extremely rare instance of an emergency, hospitals are already required to treat patients. But a new Texas law requires abortion providers – but no other type of doctor – to have admitting privileges at a local hospital. Major medical groups, including the American Medical Association and the American College of Obstetricians oppose admitting privileges because they do nothing to further patient safety. Rather, they harm women by cutting off access to safe, legal abortions.

Similar laws in Alabama, Wisconsin and Mississippi have been blocked by the courts.

"Discriminating against qualified doctors simply because they provide abortions not only violates the law, it also plays right into the hands of politicians who are laser focused on ending access to abortion," said Jennifer Dalven, director of the ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project. "Major medical groups recognize that these laws don’t improve women’s safety. They’re designed to shut down clinics, plain and simple."

The two physicians are represented by Debevoise & Plimpton LLP in this action.

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