Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal signed three bills on Tuesday instituting new restrictions on abortion rights in the state. The first law requires women seeking abortions in Louisiana to undergo an ultrasound prior to the procedure. There will be no exceptions for victims of rape or incest Opponents remain concerned that the ultrasound requirement, an expensive procedure that may not be available at free clinics, will increase costs and make obtaining abortion services more difficult for women.
The second new law excludes providers from medical malpractice coverage for elective abortion procedures, reports the Associated Press. The third anti-choice bill signed by Governor Jindal yesterday prevents insurance providers in the new federal health insurance exchange from covering abortions.
Last month Governor Jindal signed House Bill 1370, a law that gives Louisiana’s health secretary greater power to revoke abortion clinic licenses when there are health or safety concerns. According to Associated Press the law allows the health secretary to immediately suspend a clinic’s license in the case of urgent health or safety risks. The health secretary is also granted broader discretion to refuse the renewal of existing licenses, as well as to deny new licenses to abortion clinics.
Media Resources: Associated Press 7/6/10; Feminist Daily Newswire 6/17/10; Louisiana State Government