Louisiana’s highly anticipated gubernatorial runoff election is making waves as a Democrat in the Deep South threatens Republicans’ hold on the governor’s seat. But whatever his politics, should he win, Rep. Edwards would still be no friend to reproductive health in the state.
Without any debate, the Louisiana House of Representatives passed a bill Wednesday that would impose regulations aimed at severely limiting access to abortion. It is expected to be signed by Gov. Bobby Jindal.
State lawmakers and anti-choice activists alike have been working to restrict access to abortion services in Louisiana, employing rhetoric and tactics that are seen by some community leaders as exploiting racial fears in Black communities.
HB 388 would require abortion providers to obtain admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the clinic where they provide abortions, impose a 24-hour waiting period on surgical abortions, and require physicians to register with the state if they perform just five abortions within a year.
Contrary to some news reports, a new bill introduced in Louisiana is unlikely to create a state database of all women who have taken emergency contraception—but reproductive rights experts are more concerned that the bill could close three out of Louisiana’s five abortion clinics using regulations similar to those that have shuttered more than one-third of clinics in Texas.