Even as the U.S. Supreme Court on Friday blocked enforcement of a Louisiana TRAP law that would have left the state with only one abortion provider, anti-abortion politicians continue to propose an onslaught of legislation that could shutter the state’s four remaining abortion clinics for good.
HB606 and SB264 would prohibit health clinics that perform abortions from receiving any public funding – local, state, or federal – for any purpose. These bills would be particularly onerous for Planned Parenthood, which currently receives government funding for sexually transmitted infection testing, cancer screenings, and other services. Former Governor Bobby Jindal, last year, attempted terminate state Medicaid funding for Planned Parenthood, but his plan was blocked by a federal court.
Also on the docket is HB386, which would impose a 72-hour waiting period for any woman seeking an abortion. This legislation would triple the state’s current 24-hour mandate and would tie Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and Utah for the longest waiting period in the nation.
Louisiana’s current TRAP law – known as Act 620 – contains an admitting privileges requirement similar to Texas’ HB2, which is currently being reviewed by the Supreme Court in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt. Both laws mandate that doctors who provide abortion must obtain admitting privileges at a local hospital within 30 miles of the clinic. Like HB2, Act 620 was also struck down by a federal district court judge, but upheld by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. A decision in the Texas case is expected in June.
Media Resources: Louisiana State Legislature, RH Reality Check 10/30/15; Guttmacher 3/1/16; U.S. District Court Middle District of Louisiana 8/31/14; U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals 2/24/16