Louisiana Approves Wave of Anti-Abortion Legislation
The Louisiana legislature passed a bill yesterday which requires women seeking abortions in the state to undergo an ultrasound prior to the procedure. There will be no exceptions for victims of rape or incest. The bill passed the state House with a 79-0 vote, and will now go to Governor Bobby Jindal for final approval. According to the Associated Press, Jindal is expected to sign the bill into law.
The proposal, Senate bill 528, originally included provisions requiring patients desiring abortions to hear a detailed description of the fetus, including its dimensions, and be shown a picture of the ultrasound, reports the Associated Press. These requirements were removed in the first Senate committee hearing. The description and photograph are now optional. Patient's must listen to a statement explaining the availability of both services.
While the bill passed in the Legislature with little resistance, the Associated Press reports that opponents are concerned that the ultrasound requirement, an expensive procedure that may not be available at a local free clinic, will increase costs and make obtaining abortion services more difficult for women.
The state legislature passed a second bill yesterday that prevents insurance providers in the new federal health insurance exchange from covering abortions, reported 2theadvocate.
These two bills follow Monday's passage of House Bill 1370, a bill that gives Louisiana's health secretary greater power to revoke abortion clinic licenses when there are health or safety concerns, reports the Associated Press. According to WWLTV.com the bill allows the health secretary to immediately suspend a clinic's license in the case of urgent health or safety risks. The proposal also gives the health secretary broader discretion to refuse the renewal of existing licenses, as well as to deny new licenses to abortion clinics. The bill now awaits the expected signature of Governor Jindal.
Media Resources: Associated Press 6/16/10; 2theadvocate.com 6/17/10; WWLTV.com 6/14/10