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Louisiana Legislature Passes Measure Tripling State's Mandatory Delay for Women Seeking Health Care

The Louisiana legislature passed a measure today which triples the state’s mandatory waiting period from 24 to 72 hours for nearly all women seeking abortion services.  The measure—HB 386--now heads to the desk of Governor John Bel Edwards (D).

HB 386 is only one of numerous measures currently moving through the Louisiana legislature this session which restrict women’s access to safe, legal reproductive healthcare.  Other measures currently under consideration include:

  • a ban (HB 1081) on the most commonly used method of ending a pregnancy in the second trimester.  Courts in Kansas and Oklahoma have already blocked similar measures due to challenges brought by the Center for Reproductive Rights;
  • a measure (HB 815) which could effectively ban medication abortion in the state by imposing impossible requirements on women who complete their medication abortion outside of a doctor’s office;
  • a measure (HB 1019) which policies a woman’s reason for needing to end a pregnancy by banning abortion in cases of genetic abnormalities;
  • a measure (HB 33) which could serve as a back door abortion ban by prohibiting payment for the legal disposal of fetal tissue.

Louisiana women already face myriad obstacles when they need abortion services, including a 24 mandatory delay and a Texas-style clinic shutdown law—a measure that remains blocked because of an order from the U.S. Supreme Court obtained by the Center for Reproductive Rights in March 2016.

“Politicians in Louisiana have made it their mission to restrict access to safe and legal health care—with women in the state left to pay the price,” said Amanda Allen, Senior State Legislative Counsel at the Center for Reproductive Rights.  “We urge Governor Bel Edwards to veto this insulting and potentially dangerous mandatory delay for women seeking abortion and call upon all elected officials in Louisiana to stop their relentless attacks on women’s health care.”

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