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
10/30/2014 Medication Abortion Access Threatened by Oklahoma Court Ruling - An Oklahoma state district court judge has refused to block a state law restricting medication abortion, clearing the way for the law to go into affect on November 1.
The Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice, together with a local abortion clinic in Tulsa, challenged HB 2684 in September, arguing that the law was an unconstitutional restriction on non-surgical abortion in the earliest weeks of pregnancy. The court's decision denied their request to temporarily block the legislation pending a final ruling on its constitutionality, rubber stamping the efforts of Oklahoma politicians to force doctors to use an outdated protocol for administering a medication abortion using the drug mifepristone - one that the medical community and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists have rejected in favor of a new standard of care that calls for a significantly lower dosage. . . .
10/29/2014 North Dakota Supreme Court Upholds Abortion Restrictions - The North Dakota Supreme Court yesterday upheld a set of misguided restrictions on medication abortion, allowing what is effectively a ban on early, non-surgical abortions in the state to go into effect immediately.
The decision overturned a lower court order finding the law, known as HB 1297, unconstitutional and permanently blocking its enforcement. . . .
10/29/2014 Georgia Court Refuses to Recognize 40K Voter Registrations From Primarily People of Color and Young People - A state court judge on Tuesday refused to order the Georgia Secretary of State to add some 40,000 voters to the voter rolls, potentially disenfranchising thousands of African Americans and other people of color in the state.
Judge Christopher Brasher of the Fulton County Superior Court denied a petition from the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (LCCR), the New Georgia Project and the Georgia branch of the NAACP asking the court to force Secretary of State Brian Kemp (R) to process an estimated 40,000 "missing" voter registrations.
More than 100,000 voters were registered by the three groups, but about a third of those registered never made the rolls. . . .