Louisiana Governor Signs Omnibus Anti-Abortion Bill


On Thursday, Republican Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal signed into law an anti-choice omnibus bill that was one of his legislative priorities during the just ended state legislative session.

Jindal signed the bill, HB 388, at First Baptist Church in West Monroe, home of the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Katrina Jackson (D-Monroe).

Modeled after a Texas law that was signed last summer, HB 388 requires abortion providers to obtain admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the clinic where they perform abortions. A forced 24-hour waiting period on surgical abortions will also be implemented, and the number of abortions a doctor must perform in a given year to be considered an abortion provider will be greatly reduced.

Proponents of the legislation say the restrictions will protect women’s health and make abortions safer, despite overwhelming evidence that abortion is already safe and highly regulated in the United States. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and the American Medical Association (AMA) oppose requiring admitting privileges for abortion providers, finding “there is no medical basis to require abortion providers to have local hospital admitting privileges.”

“We all want women to be safe, but this law doesn’t protect women’s health,” said Jennifer Dalven, director of the American Civil Liberties Union Reproductive Freedom Project. “In fact, major medical groups like ACOG and AMA oppose these laws because they actually harm women by preventing them from getting high quality medical care. Given that doctors and medical groups oppose these laws, we have to ask ourselves why some politicians are pushing them?”

Neither side disputes that the consequences of the law will be to limit access to reproductive health care in the state. At least three, and perhaps four, of the five clinics that provide abortion services will be forced to close under the new legislation, according to reproductive rights advocates who are worried about the consequences the new law will have for women and families throughout the state and the region.

“What is happening in Louisiana is part of a dangerous national trend,” Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, said in a statement. “With these same dangerous restrictions enacted in neighboring states, the United States is becoming a country where a woman’s ability to make personal medical decisions without interference from politicians will be dependent upon where she happens to live. That cannot be what the Supreme Court intended when it established a woman’s right to safe and legal abortion more than 40 years ago.“

Louisiana joins other states that have followed Texas’ lead. Many of these types of targeted regulations of abortion providers (TRAP) laws that have passed in other states are currently being litigated in the courts. Louisiana is part of a trend among Southern states to restrict access to safe, legal abortion care in the last few years by passing laws that have closed clinics, leaving women in the region with few options.

In Texas, the lack of access to reproductive health care in the Rio Grande Valley and East Texas has already had devastating effects.

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  • Kris Weibel

    Anything to suppress women!

  • brathor1

    Just another example of how Republicans believe “small government” should work.

    • http://batman-news.com Mummel18000

      Odd thing is that they want a “small government” in every issue, except when it comes to womens bodies; suddenly the government should have all the power. These people are sick.

      • Arekushieru

        Or, as the saying goes, a government small enough to fit into a woman’s uterus. >_<

        • http://batman-news.com Mummel18000

          If it wasn’t so sick, your comment would be fun…

          • Arekushieru

            OR so true…. Blech.

        • fiona64

          … and a gay man’s bedroom.

  • mary Wms

    Hasn’t this already been overturned in the courts? Is he running for office and needs to make a “stand” to get votes?

    • Encantados

      yes, from white male establishment sugar daddies.

    • Kathi J

      This type of restriction, part of the TRAP laws, has been in several different courts but has not gone to the Supreme Court yet – it will and most likely it will be overturned.

  • purrtriarchy

    If they think that abortion is murder, why are they concerned about the ‘health’ of the murderers?

  • Encantados

    They better increase access to contraceptives and vasectomies or pay for all the pre and post natal care coming up. But ah, they didn’t think about that…I suppose they’ll be looking for more Federal money to help with their ‘growing’ population.

    Louisiana’s Bill: HB 388

    ”Definition(2) “First trimester” means the time period … up to fourteen weeks

    after the first day of the last menstrual period.”

    http://www.legis.la.gov/Legis/ViewDocument.aspx?d=875660
    Birth is from conception theory, anyone? Except no one knows exactly when conception occurs least of all lawmakers. So, what they have done is decide that no woman can have birth control or an IUD because that is interfering with possible conception.
    But of course there is no provision about men and vasectomies. :) It seems that they still believe in the Virgin Birth theory also.

    • Kathi J

      I believe he signed a anti-contraception bill at the same time he signed this bill in a church no less.

  • fiona64

    Bawbee Jindal … just another politician practicing medicine without a license, and proving that the government needs to be small enough to fit up every woman’s vagina.

    • http://batman-news.com Mummel18000

      Well if it should be in every womans vagina, it must be quite big!

  • Cathy Young

    all women should leave states that enact this kind of crap

    • Kathi J

      In a alternate reality all women would have the wherewithal to do so, however in real life terms these restrictions harm low income and poor women the most and they cannot simply pick up and move. Besides, why would women have to move away from their homes in order to exercise their legal right to an abortion?

      • Cathy Young

        If women would help each other instead of shitting on each other they could en masse, leave the state. It could simply be used as a form of protest and not forever. Sadly, a lot of women treat each other like shit so they can never come together to do something like that. Of course I also think that since so many people say women should just keep theirr legs closed if they don’t want children, collectively they should do just that. Believe me, it would not take long for legislation to change if women controlled sex. Before people all flip out, I do not believe that the onus of pregnancy should be laid at the feet of women. I do not believe that pregnancy is their own fault either. I simply think that since men in particular think women should just close their legs to avoid pregnancy, then I say give them what they want…Clearly that is no sex unless children are the goal. I find it hard to believe that women are having to fight this battle again and again. I remember when abortion was not legal at all, and people should be fighting to not return to that ever again.

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