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Monica Hernandez / Eyewitness News
Email: mhernandez@wwltv.com | Twitter: @mhernandezwwl

METAIRIE, La. Most of the Louisiana's abortion clinics say they would have to shut down if a new state law goes into effect on Monday.

The law requires every doctor who performs abortions to have admitting privileges at hospitals within 30 miles of the abortion facility, meaning they can treat patients at the hospital as approved members of the medical staff in case of an emergency.

A similar law shuttered multiple Texas clinics and was struck down in Mississippi after a judge found it would shutter that state's only abortion clinic.

Now, three of Louisiana's five abortion clinics, including one in Metairie, are asking a federal judge to rule the state's law unconstitutional and stop it from going into effect.The defendant's in the case are the state attorney general, the department of health and hospitals, and the president of the state board of medical examiners.

The judge is expected to rule on the case this weekend.

The three clinics that filed the lawsuit say they've applied for admitting privileges, but have not yet heard back because it can take between 90 days and seven months to get a response.

It's unclear whether any of the clinics will ultimately be able to get admitting privileges or what the two clinics not named in this suit will do if the law goes into effect.

While pro-life groups say the law focuses on keeping women safe, pro-choice groups say it does the opposite.

'This is a distraction from the abortion industry trying to stop this law from going into effect, by claiming they didn't have enough time, they had enough time, they knew it was being passed,' said Ben Clapper, executive director of Louisiana Right to Life.

'This is a legal procedure that is extremely safe, and to use medical safety as a pretext for the real agenda, which is to make abortions unavailable, is I think both disingenuous and will harm the many many women of Louisiana,' said Marjorie Esman, executive director of the ACLU.

Neither the ACLU or Louisiana Right to Life are playing a direct role in the lawsuit.

DHH filed a response to the lawsuit Friday, saying it enforce the law against clinics that had applied for admitting privileges by September 1st and were still awaiting a response.

But abortion clinics said that doesn't go far enough, and have left the case in the hands of a federal judge.

If the law goes into effect, abortion clinics could be fined $4,000 and eventually be forced to shut down if they don't comply.

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