A Louisiana abortion provider embroiled in a major Supreme Court case is trying to hide evidence of criminal activity from prosecutors, according to the state’s Department of Justice.
A news release from Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry’s office from last week says state officials are asking a federal judge to unseal information that contains “evidence of criminal and professional misconduct” by June Medical Services, which does business as Hope Medical Group.
“The information that was uncovered would normally lead the LADOJ to make a criminal referral,” the release claims. “However, the presiding federal judge has sealed a large number of important documents and information regarding the case. The LADOJ is asking the appeals court to vacate that order.”
“I am deeply concerned about the basic health and safety of Louisiana women,” Louisiana Solicitor General Liz Murrill said in a statement. “And Hope’s continued efforts to hide this information from the Supreme Court and to block reporting to proper authorities casts serious doubt on Hope and its abortion providers’ claims that it represents the interests of Louisiana women.”
When reached for comment, Hope Medical Group administrator Kathaleen Pittman told Blaze Media via email that she has “absolutely no idea” what the statement is referring to.
Kelly Krause, a spokesperson for the Center for Reproductive Rights, which represents Hope and filed a 63-page legal brief in the case on Monday, told the Washington Times that the claims are “simply untrue” and that “for years, the state of Louisiana has been relying on baseless attacks on abortion providers to defend its unconstitutional abortion restrictions and this is only the latest example.”
Blaze Media reached out to the Louisiana Department of Justice for an update on the status of the legal petition. A statement from the attorney general’s office says that the federal court asked the plaintiffs for a response on Monday. Murrill said her team is “hopeful the district court’s gag order will be lifted so that information which could affect women’s health and safety will no longer be hidden from law enforcement, the courts, and the public.”
The Supreme Court case involving June/Hope is over a state law that requires that abortion providers must have admitting privileges to a hospital within 30 miles. While proponents of the law say that it’s a means of protecting women’s health, opponents say that the safety concerns are merely a guise for restricting abortion access in a state that only has three remaining abortion clinics. It would also be Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s first major abortion case on the high court since being confirmed to the bench in October 2018.