The Louisiana Senate voted 34-3 to pass an omnibus abortion bill yesterday that would limit access to abortion in the state by imposing burdensome regulations on abortion providers and forcing women to wait longer to obtain an abortion.
HB 388 will implement a 24-hour waiting period on surgical abortions and require abortion providers to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the clinic. Admitting privileges requirements are very difficult to follow if the clinic is in a rural area far from a hospital – a concern voiced by Senator Jean-Paul Morrell (D-New Orleans) – or if the closest hospital will not agree to let the clinic doctor have admitting privileges. A law implementing admitting privileges requirements in Texas has caused 19 clinics in Texas to close, and the Louisiana version is expected to close three out of five of the state’s current abortion clinics.
“This bill will seriously impede a woman’s ability to access a procedure that is perfectly legal in the state,” said Senator Karen Carter Peterson (D-New Orleans). “Clearly this is a deeply personal decision for women, and a complex decision that women often struggle with. The bottom line is that this is a decision a woman should make and not a politician.”
The Louisiana House approved a version of the anti-abortion bill earlier this year. The Senate bill contained some amendments, so the bill will now return to the House for a vote.
Media Resources: RH Reality Check 5/14/14, 4/1/14; Legis.la.gov; Feminist Newswire 4/14/14