Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco (D) signed three bills last week that restrict women's access to abortion. Two of the bills, HB 614 and SB 161, ban so-called "partial birth" abortions, making Louisiana the first state in the country to adopt its own laws after the US Supreme Court upheld a federal ban earlier this year. While the two bills contain the same major provisions, the Louisiana Law Institute, a legal panel dealing with state legislative technicalities, will be responsible for codifying the two statutes, though the Senate version will likely take precedent because it was passed first.
Under the Senate version of the bill, doctors who perform "partial birth" abortions could be fined between $10,000 and $100,000 and could receive between one and 10 years in jail. While there is an exception if a pregnant woman's life is in danger, there is no exception for pregnant women whose health is compromised. Parties able to pursue a "wrongful death" or injury lawsuit under the new law include the biological father, unless the pregnancy was a result of rape; the pregnant woman, unless she consented to the abortion; and the pregnant woman's guardians if she was a minor at the time of the abortion.
Last week, Gov. Blanco also signed HB 25, requiring that abortion providers tell patients that fetal anesthesia is available to "eliminate or alleviate organic pain to the unborn child" and that abortion providers give patients a brochure stating that an "unborn child has the physical structures necessary to experience pain" at 20 weeks' gestation.
The law will go into effect August 15.
Media Resources: Kaiser Daily Women's Health Policy Report 7/19/07; New Orleans Times-Picayune 7/14/07; AP 7/15/07; Louisiana State Legislature
9/12/2014 Violence Against Women Act Turns 20 - Saturday will be the 20th Anniversary of the groundbreaking federal Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).
Passed in 1994, VAWA was the first piece of federal legislation to specifically address domestic violence and sexual assault as crimes and to provide federal funding to improve local response to violence against women, including training and resources for law enforcement and judges.
President Barack Obama on Tuesday issued a proclamation commemorating the VAWA anniversary. . . .
9/12/2014 Indiana Woman Charged With Feticide For Premature Delivery - An Indiana woman has been charged with feticide after she delivered prematurely and sought hospital treatment.
Purvi Patel, 33, sought help at an emergency room for vaginal bleeding where it was discovered that she had delivered prematurely at home. . . .