A Louisiana bill that requires abortion clinics to give women more time to consider their options passed the state House on Wednesday in a landslide vote.
Louisiana House Bill 386 would increase the current time for reflection between pre-abortion counseling and the actual abortion procedure from 24 hours to 72 hours. According to ABC News, an exception in the bill allows a 24-hour waiting period for women who live at least 150 from the nearest abortion clinic. The House voted 87-5 to pass the measure, the report states.
Louisiana Right to Life Legislative Director Deanna Wallace said she was thrilled to see the Women’s Enhanced Reflection Act pass with strong, bipartisan support.
“This important bill empowers women considering abortion with additional reflection time before an abortion so women can can consider their options more effectively,” Wallace said. “Not only would this protect women from future emotional and psychological harm, but it would give victims of coercion and violence more time to reach out for help before being forced into an abortion they do not want.”
The author of the bill, state Rep. Frank Hoffmann, R-West Monroe, said the legislation may help reduce abortions by giving women more time to consider the alternatives.
“It can certainly help prevent against later regret,” Hoffmann said. “It’s the life of the unborn child that will be affected by the decision.”
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The bill appears likely to become law. No one spoke against the bill before the House voted on Wednesday, and Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards supports it, according to news report. The bill would make Louisiana the sixth state to enact a 72-hour waiting period.
Also on Wednesday, lawmakers in the House unanimously approved House Bill 488 authored by Rep. Katrina Jackson, D-Monroe. The measure would require that abortion providers be board certified or board eligible in order to be qualified to perform the surgical procedure of abortion.
Wallace explained: “HB 488 simply codifies the standard of care that currently exists in our state. We are happy the House of Representatives approved this common sense legislation to ensure that the health and safety of Louisiana women are maintained.”
Both bills head to the state Senate for consideration.
Another pro-life bill spearheaded by the pro-life group passed the House Health and Welfare Committee this week. HB 618, the Compassionate Burial Options Act authored by state Rep. Tom Wilmott, R-Kenner, would require hospitals to inform parents who suffer the tragedy of miscarriage that they have a right to bury or cremate their child.
“The Compassionate Burial Options Act opens the door to allow parents to properly grieve the loss of miscarriage and can facilitate the healing process for the family,” Wallace said. “The testimony of the pain of miscarriage from our guests today, including Rachel Adair, Leslie Begin, and Lise Naccari, moved a number of legislators to tears. We look forward to this legislation receiving a vote on the House floor next week.”