Gov. Jindal Signs Texas-Style Abortion Restriction Into Law

Unnecessary Requirement Could Close Women’s Health Centers Across the State

June 12, 2014 2:00 pm

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Baton Rouge, La. – Governor Bobby Jindal has signed into law a Texas-style abortion restriction designed to close women’s health centers across the state.

Doctors and major medical groups, including the American Medical Association and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, oppose these laws because they do little to further patient safety. Rather, they harm women by cutting off access to safe, legal abortions.

“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?”

Like the Texas law that has left large portions of the state with no clinic and forced women to travel hundreds of miles to get the care they need, the Louisiana bill singles out doctors who provide abortions. It requires only those doctors to have admitting privileges, which are a business arrangement between a hospital and a doctor, at a local hospital.

Gov. Jindal also signed a law that will limit Louisiana students’ access to medically accurate sexual health information by prohibiting employees or representatives of an organization that provides abortion from providing any health instruction or health educational materials in schools (HB 305).

“To live safe and healthy lives, students need access to quality, medically accurate information. We can’t let politics trump the health of our teens,” Dalven said. “Gov. Jindal should be ashamed of himself for participating in political maneuvering at the expense of Louisiana students.”

The Louisiana laws are part of a nationwide plan to pass restrictions that will shut down women’s health centers and prevent women from accessing safe and legal abortions. In addition to the Texas law, Mississippi, Alabama, and Wisconsin have recently passed similar laws. Those laws have been challenged. Trial in the Alabama case started on May 19, and the Wisconsin case began on May 27. The Mississippi law, which would force the only remaining clinic in the state to close, was argued before the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals on April 28. The Oklahoma legislature passed and sent a similar admitting privileges bill to the governor.

Physicians who provide abortions are often unable to obtain hospital privileges for a variety of reasons that have nothing to do with their experience, qualifications, or credentials, including the hospital’s opposition to abortion and the hospital’s financial interests.

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