Director of one of last abortion clinics in Louisiana speaks about Supreme Court case

Kathaleen Pittman, director of the Hope Medical Clinic for Women in Shreveport, as well as abortion rights and anti-abortion advocates, spoke about the case on admitting privileges in the state.
8:35 | 03/06/20

Coming up in the next {{countdown}} {{countdownlbl}}

Coming up next:

{{nextVideo.title}}

{{nextVideo.description}}

Skip to this video now

Now Playing:

{{currentVideo.title}}

Comments
Related Extras
Related Videos
Video Transcript
Transcript for Director of one of last abortion clinics in Louisiana speaks about Supreme Court case
Reporter: Rallying cries of a cultural divide. Every single life is precious! Reporter: A woman's access to an abortion, now before a conservative-leaning supreme court for the first time since president trump took office. What matters is that we are loud! And we are heard! Reporter: A clash of convictions on the steps of the supreme court. We have a lot of work to do. A lot of work to do in fighting for unborn children. Reporter: Kathleen pitman has just stood before the highest court no the land. She's here to fight in a case that could set the precedent for the entire nation, a ruling many feel could weaken roe versus I cannot tell you how moving it is to see all of you here. All of these faces rallying behind us, behind a small, independent clinic in northwest Louisiana. Reporter: Here, 1200 miles away from our nation's capital in Shreveport, Louisiana, the real battle unfolds. Wicked, unimaginable! Reporter: Pitman's small clinic at risk of closing if it's forced to comply with a new state law restricting doctors who perform abortions there. Outside, a scene the clinic staff is all too familiar with. Protesters lined up, many who believe abortions are a sin. It's hard. You know, to see women go in here. And come in here with their child in their womb and then leave without it. Reporter: Volunteers double as body guards, escorting the women from the parking lot into the clinic. I put it on our umbrella for all of the protesters to see while I'm shielding the patients. Good morning, thank you for calling pitman medical. How can I help you? Reporter: Inside the clinic is inundated with calls. I think I need to write my obit. Reporter: Her staff provides birth control and consultations to 3,000 women in Louisiana alone. The women we see here, I would say between 70% or 80% live at or below the poverty level. They are women without means. They have transportation to consider. Reporter: And then there are the out of state patients. I would say about 27% are from Texas. We also see women from Arkansas, Mississippi, Oklahoma. Occasionally Nebraska. Reporter: As one of the only clinics in the region, pitman and all the staffers feel like they are the last line of defense for countless women. What's at stake? It is highly possible that all but one, if not all clinics will close in Louisiana. It's not just this case. While this case directly affects all the clinics in Louisiana, it's going to affect other states as well. Reporter: The weight of that responsibility not lost on anyone. I think everybody who works here has a commitment. And a reason for being here. Everybody has their own story. I was part of that faction of women who's been fed misinformation their whole life and hasn't been given accurate birth control information and what they taught me when I came here, this is how you take control of your reproductive health. I enjoy helping the women and hearing their stories, I do, and being able to give my input back. Because I had a baby at 16. And I'm sure if my mom knew something about this place, maybe, just maybe she would have brought me here. Reporter: This clinic's path to the supreme court began in 2017 when hope medical group sued Louisiana after the state passed a law requiring doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges to There isn't always a hospital nearby. Another reason is these privileges often require a certain number of admissions in each calendar year. And very early abortions are extremely safe procedures. And they may not need to have admissions. Admitting privileges sound good on paper, but they're really a catch-22. Reporter: Travis is one of the lawyers representing the medical group before the court. If this law goes into effect all the doctors at hope medical clinic will be put out of business and the clinic will They need to be able to regulate and protect women's health. And this law does that. Reporter: Elizabeth murle argued on behalf of the state of Louisiana. One side is saying these doctors cannot get admitting privileges. You are saying no, I think they could. Why? I'm not saying it. This idea that all the clinics are going to close, that they can't get privileges, that's all simply not accurate. Reporter: Why have not other clinics opened up knowing the regulations or knowing what will be asked of them, to have these admitting privileges? I can't speak to what clinics think or doctors think, there are a couple thousand doctors in the state of Louisiana that are eligible under the law, right now. They have admitting privileges. They have the residency requirements. They could contract with any of the open clinics now. Reporter: So when you see the stat, 1% of all abortions result in complications, what is your reaction? I think it's wrong. Black and white just wrong. I think it's inaccurate. What I can say is I think women deserve to be safe. Reporter: The last time the supreme court took up abortion was in 2016, striking down the state of Texas' attempt to regulate abortion providers. We are -- Reporter: But the court's bench is different now. In the past two years, president trump added two conservative justices, Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh. A lot of courts have said you know what? I think the legal landscape has really changed and they have moved to restrict. Reporter: Louisiana is just the latest of several states to pass laws that abortion advocates say make it harder for women to access safe abortions. "Nightline" was on the ground last year in Alabama when the state passed a law making it a crime for doctors to perform abortions, causing an uproar across the country, even inspiring celebrities to speak out. Who are you to tell me what to do with my body? Who are you to make that decision? Reporter: Then again in Missouri, when new regulations threatened the state's last abortion clinic. One of the strategies of the anti-choice movement for a long time is to try and find ways to chip away access to abortion care and through the process of what we call regulations or targeted regulation of abortion providers. Reporter: Laws like these are becoming a new reality, impacting women in 24 states. I think you've seen kind of grass roots momentum of folks across the country going oh, my gosh, this is a reality. We could be the first post-roe generation. Reporter: That's why actresses like busy Philipps are speaking out sharing her own abortion story. We're at a critical moment in government, truly. The question becomes, are we going to uphold the law? Are we just going to throw everything out? We have to believe women. We have to trust women. Reporter: It's a belief shared bit hope medical group's staff. I plan to eat lots of chocolate tonight for energy. We'll need it tomorrow. Reporter: Back home in Louisiana they rally morale for the road ahead. This is to hope, the women we serve, the center for reproductive rights. Reporter: This small group at the epicenter of a big fight reminding themselves of what matters most. What we need to do is concentrate on the here and now, take care of the patients currently in our care and make sure they have everything they need and really hope for the best. The supreme court won't hand down its decision until June.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

{"duration":"8:35","description":"Kathaleen Pittman, director of the Hope Medical Clinic for Women in Shreveport, as well as abortion rights and anti-abortion advocates, spoke about the case on admitting privileges in the state.","mediaType":"default","section":"ABCNews/Nightline","id":"69429958","title":"Director of one of last abortion clinics in Louisiana speaks about Supreme Court case","url":"/Nightline/video/director-abortion-clinics-louisiana-speaks-supreme-court-case-69429958"}