Louisiana Scraps Abortion Restrictions After Pro-Choice Protests
Pro-choice activists in Louisiana are celebrating today after health officials announced Monday night they are "rescinding" restrictive abortion provisions that would have closed all five of the state's clinics.
The regulations, passed in November 2013 without any input from pro-choice organizers, would have mandated extensive expansions and renovations to existing clinics. Officials from all five of Louisiana's clinics said they would have been unable to meet the requirements and would have closed down. The Department of Health and Hospitals (DHH) announced its decision just hours before it was set to hear testimony on the regulations.
"The Department of Health and Hospitals (DHH) is rescinding its November 2013 emergency rule for outpatient abortion facilities licensing standards," said DHH spokesperson Olivia Watkins in a statement. "The Department will reissue a revised rule and notice of intent at a later date."
The original legislation also would have required a 30-day waiting period for all patients between blood tests and legal abortion procedures. However, in January, the DHH rescinded the blood test portion.
Pro-choice activists who traveled to Baton Rouge for the hearing are hosting a celebratory rally this afternoon.
Media Resources: Fox 8 New Orleans, 2/3/2014; Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals 2/3/2014; RH Reality Check 2/4/2014