Investigative

BREAKING: Louisiana abortion facility defies Department of Health order, continues to operate during pandemic

Earlier this week, Live Action News and other media outlets reported that abortion facilities in Louisiana were shutting down, due to the Department of Health’s order halting all non-essential and elective procedures in the state to reserve medical resources to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. Yesterday, Live Action learned through direct phone conversations that the Hope Medical Group for Women in Shreveport — one of three abortion businesses in the state — has chosen to defy the Department of Health’s order and continues to schedule abortions in Louisiana.

Hope Medical Group for Women is the plaintiff in the U.S. Supreme Court case June Medical Services v. Russo, which deals with requiring abortionists in the state of Louisiana to have hospital admitting privileges for patient continuity of care, as is required of all surgical centers in the state. Currently, the state’s three abortion businesses — the only exception to this requirement — are fighting against it, and are putting women’s lives and health at serious risk. (Read more here about these Louisiana abortion facilities and how they are risking women’s lives in their business of killing preborn children.)

READ: Virginia delegates walk out as pastor prays for protection for preborn children

As previously reported by Live Action News, “The Center for Reproductive Rights, the Hope Medical Group for Women, and two abortionists sued Louisiana over [the state’s admitting privileges] law and won their case when the District Court ruled that the law was unconstitutional. The case has been appealed and oral arguments from both sides were heard by the Supreme Court. The Court’s decision has not yet been made public.”

Yesterday, two callers spoke by phone to staff members at the Hope Medical Group (HMG). HMG was reportedly closed on Monday but has since reopened. Abortions are committed on Tuesdays and Thursdays there. On these calls, Live Action learned that Hope Medical Group for Women is indeed scheduling abortions, is reportedly seeing patients from both Louisiana and Texas, and intends to remain open for “as long as possible.”

 

Live Action president and founder Lila Rose released a statement today, saying:

In Louisiana, the abortion industry proves once again that it will seek profit no matter what. While the rest of the world is focused on rescuing the vulnerable from COVID-19, Hope Medical Group is scheduling abortions that will kill children, harm women, and use up precious medical resources like masks, gloves, and gowns. 

“As Louisiana Senator Katrina Jackson noted on Thursday, Louisiana’s legitimate medical providers, like dentists, are donating these valuable resources to the hospitals fighting COVID-19 in Louisiana. But Hope Medical Group is focused on nothing but profiting from abortion. We call on Governor John Bel Edwards and Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry to immediately shut down Hope Medical Group and penalize it for defying the state and endangering the community.

TRANSCRIPT, LIVE ACTION CALL #1:

0:16 HOPE MEDICAL: Hope Medical, please hold.

0:18 CALLER: Okay.

1:32 HOPE MEDICAL: Thanks for holding, how can I help?

1:34 CALLER: Hey, yeah, I’m trying to figure out how I can go about getting an abortion taken care of. 

1:41 HOPE MEDICAL: Uh-kay. Here in Louisiana, you have to have a  consultation visit at least 24 hours before we can do[ a procedure. 1:48 CALLER: Okay.] Our consultation is 50 dollars. Can be cash, card, or money order. Um…uhhh, scheduling is modified right now to accommodate social distancing. 

2:02 CALLER: Ohh, okay.

2:03 HOPE MEDICAL: We have consultation visits on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. The soonest you can get in would be Monday the 6th, or Wednesday, or Friday following that day. And theeen, the procedures are Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. 

2:19 CALLER: Okay.

2:19 HOPE MEDICAL: The first step would be to schedule your consultation visit with me. Aaaand, you would schedule the second visit when you come for the first visit. 

2:29 CALLER: Okay, hold on, so, I- okay, so I have to schedule a consultation visit – and when can I come in? 

2:38 HOPE MEDICAL: Monday the 6th is the earliest I have. 

2:38 CALLER: Sorry, I’m just trying to figure out child care. 

2:41 HOPE MEDICAL: Yeah, no problem. 

2:41 CALLER: Sorry, what’d you say? 

2:43 HOPE MEDICAL: Monday, April 6th.

2:46 CALLER: Monday, April 6th. Okay. So if I can get child care on that day and come in on Monday, April 6th. And then, when can I – when can I get my procedure done though? Cause I’m trying to kind of figure this out as soon as I can. 

3:05 HOPE MEDICAL: Unfortunately, it’s not guaranteed when the second visit will be, um… We just don’t know for sure. [3:13 CALLER: Okay.] I do know it’ll be a Tuesday, Thursday, or Saturday, but I can’t give you, like, a guarantee. 

3:18 CALLER: A guaranteed day, yet? Okay. Alright, um [*sigh*]. Okay let me see if I can go ahead and find child care so I can do that consultation visit. Um, how long do I have, like, can I call you right back to see if I can get child care?

3:36 HOPE MEDICAL: Yeah, no problem. We’re, we’ve got a good bit of appointments for that day available. 

3:41 CALLER: Okay, great. So, right now. 

3:44 HOPE MEDICAL: I’m sorry?

3:45 CALLER: No, that’s fine. You guys are like the second place I called so I’m really glad you picked up. Okay, um, but you guys, you guys are doing it though, yeah? 

3:56 HOPE MEDICAL: Ma’am, I’m sorry, I couldn’t hear you. 

3:58 CALLER: I’m sorry, you guys are, [4:00 HOPE MEDICAL: You’re good.] you guys are doing it, though, you guys are the second place that I called so I’m just trying to find a place that I can get this taken care of. 

4:08 HOPE MEDICAL: Yes. Currently, um, we are the only facility that I know anywhere nearby is open and operating. [4:15 CALLER: Oh, okay.] And we will stay open and operating [4:19 CALLER: Okay.] as long as possible. [4:20 CALLER: Okay.] Um, if we schedule with you and anything changes outside of our control we’ll definitely let you know. 

4:26 CALLER: Okay. Alright, wonderful. What I’m gonna do is, I’m gonna see if I can figure out child care with my mom right now and then I’ll call you right back. 

4:34 HOPE MEDICAL: Sounds great.

4:35 CALLER: Alright, thank you so much I really appreciate it. 

4:38 HOPE MEDICAL: Not a problem. 

4:40 CALLER: Alright, buh-bye. 

4:34 End Call/Transcript

TRANSCRIPT, LIVE ACTION CALL #2:

June Medical Services LLC (Hope Medical Group for Women)

March 26, 2020 2:37 pm CT

0:18 HOPE MEDICAL: Hope Medical Group Service, this is Hailey, how can I help you?

0:20 CALLER: Hi, um, are you guys still scheduling abortions? 

0:25 HOPE MEDICAL: We are! Unfortunately, our first session we don’t have an available appointment just because we are so busy until April 6th. 

0:33 CALLER: Oh, wow, ok, um…so, like, I think i’m like somewhere around 8 weeks pregnant, like…um…do you do ones, like, then?

0:45 HOPE MEDICAL: I’m sorry?

0:45 CALLER: I said, I think I’m around like 8 weeks pregnant. Do you do abortions [0:49 HOPE MEDICAL: M-hm.] then? Um…

0:52 HOPE MEDICAL: We do abortions anywhere from 3 weeks to 16 weeks and 6 days is our cut-off.

0:58 CALLER: Okay, ok, but you, you couldn’t, like, get me in, like, sooner than the 6th? 

1:04 HOPE MEDICAL: That’s correct ‘cause um…we are booked solid because we are serving all of Louisiana as well as Texas at this, at this point due to shut downs from government offices.

1:18 CALLER: Okay, and that was actually, like, my question, is, I-I can’t make sense of all the, like, shut-down stuff in Lousiana, like, am I allowed, like, could I – do you do like appointments before an abortion, or, do you just come in and do everything all at once, or like, what do you – what do you do?

1:34 HOPE MEDICAL: Um, uh, the state of Louisiana requires two appointments. So, the first one is an ultrasound to determine exactly how far along you are. You’ll meet with a counselor who will go over all the necessary paperwork as well as meet with the physician and go over the procedure as well. Uh, that is a 24-hour mark. 24 hours after you meet with the physician, you can schedule for your, uh, procedure itself. 

2:00 CALLER: Okay.

2:01 HOPE MEDICAL: So, sometimes, we can do back-to-back appointments, uh, like a Monday, Tuesday, but we can’t guarantee that. 

2:07 CALLER: Oh, okay. And – okay, so I’d have to even wait for April 6th for that one to, like, find out, what I need [2:15 HOPE MEDICAL: Correct] to do. Okay. Okay, well, um…ok I guess let me figure out some things and I’ll-I’ll have to, I’ll just call you back since it’s a wait time anyway, but thank you. 

2:26 HOPE MEDICAL: You’re very welcome. And if you have any other questions don’t hesitate to call us. You can also reference our website, hopemedical.com, for more information. Because you are calling to inquire about an abortion I am legally obligated to give you the number for the DHH. I’m sorry, the website for them is [inaudible].

2:45 CALLER: Okay, thank you, I appreciate it. 

2:47 HOPE MEDICAL: You’re welcome. Bye-bye

2:48: CALLER: Okay, bye. 

2:50: End Call/Transcript

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