Governor John Bel Edwards just signed a bill that would triple Louisiana's existing forced delay for a woman seeking a safe and legal abortion — despite the fact that Louisiana women already:
- receive support, counseling, and information;
- are required to wait at least 24 hours; and
- are required to make two doctor’s visits before having an abortion.
Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and Utah have enacted similarly extreme forced delays for abortion. With only four providers in Louisiana, this law — which is scheduled to take effect on August 1, 2016 — would prevent or delay women's access to abortion.
Louisiana politicians intend to eliminate access to safe, legal abortion in any way that they can. Several other anti-women’s health measures are poised to go to the Louisiana governor in the coming days and weeks, including a bill that would ban a very safe method of legal abortion, a bill banning abortion based on genetic anomalies, and a bill blocking Louisianians from accessing basic preventive health care at Planned Parenthood.
"We all want women to have the information and support they need to make a carefully considered decision about a pregnancy — this bill does just the opposite. This is yet another cruel attempt to restrict access to safe, legal abortion for women in Louisiana.
"This law puts politicians in the middle of private medical decisions that should be left to a woman and her doctor. Women in Louisiana will not stand by while politicians attempt to strip their rights away. As a health care provider, we’ll continue to do everything in our power to protect a woman’s access to safe, legal abortion."
—Statement from Melaney Linton, President and CEO, Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast:
Planned Parenthood health centers provide every woman with accurate information, counseling, and support to make personal medical decisions that are best for her health and well-being. This bill, on the other hand, is the latest in a series of attacks by out-of-touch politicians who will stop at nothing to end women’s access to safe, legal abortion in Louisiana.
The 72-hour mandatory delay signed by Governor Edwards is only one of many anti-women’s health restrictions politicians in Louisiana have introduced this session:
A bill (HB 606) would block access to basic preventive care at health centers like Planned Parenthood for Louisianians enrolled in Medicaid. This bill is set to be heard by the Senate next week and Governor Edwards has expressed his public support for the bill that could jeopardize access to health care for thousands of Louisianians enrolled in Medicaid.
A bill (HB 1081) that would ban a very safe method of legal abortion after the first trimester, regardless of a woman’s personal medical circumstances. It would prevent doctors from providing care based on what’s best for their patients, which is dangerous and deeply disturbing. Major mainstream medical experts like the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists oppose these measures, noting “these restrictions represent legislative interference at its worst: doctors will be forced, by ill-advised, unscientifically motivated policy, to provide lesser care to patients. This is unacceptable.”
A bill (HB 1019) would that ban abortion in the case of almost all genetic fetal anomalies.