Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal Signs Anti-Abortion Bills That'll Close Clinics, Limit Sex Ed
Thursday in upsetting news for Southern women, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal signed two anti-abortion bills that will likely force the closure of four of the state's five abortion-providing clinics and limit sex education provided by Planned Parenthood. By signing the bill, Jindal has delivered a serious blow to women's health that could have a serious effect on women's access to health services in Louisiana. In a move emblematic of counter-productive legislation taking aim at women's health, another law Jindal signed Thursday will limit teenagers' access to comprehensive sex education that teaches them how to avoid getting pregnant in the first place.
Not that that's how Jindal sees it, of course.
I am proud to sign these bills because they will help us continue to protect women and the life of the unborn in our state. These new laws will give women the health and safety protections they deserve, and continue to make Louisiana a state that values individual human life.
The law affecting abortion clinics, obviously, doesn't really protect women. These laws are passed under the guise of doing so because they require doctors at abortion clinics to have admitting privileges at a local hospital — the same tactic that inspired Texas gubernatorial candidate and filibuster hero Wendy Davis to protest a Texas bill that did the same thing. "Having admitting privileges" sounds harmless, but the requirement is actually insidious because those privileges, especially for doctors who perform abortions, have nothing to do with a doctor's qualifications.
Planned Parenthood pointed out in a statement that abortions already have a 99 percent safety record, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the requirement for admitting privileges has no medical basis.
The rule Wendy Davis was protesting, later called House Bill 2 and eventually signed into law by Texas Gov. Rick Perry, has achieved its goal of closing all of Texas' rural abortion clinics. Having admitting privileges at a local hospital is a tough hurdle to overcome, because hospitals are generally privately owned and run and don't have an obligation to admit a controversial doctor.
One doctor in Louisiana has admitting privileges at a local hospital, and it's no coincidence that he works at the one abortion clinic in the state that will likely stay open in the wake of the legislation. The law will also require a 24-hour waiting period on medicine-induced abortions, The Times-Picayune reported. That means that even if women can get themselves to a (potentially nonexistent) state clinic allowing them access to the time-sensitive medication to induce abortion, they will have to wait a day before they can get the pill. For most of the women in the state, that clinic won't be anywhere near where they live.
Meanwhile, Louisiana decided now was a great time to limit access to sex education given by abortion providers like Planned Parenthood — you know, the kind of sex ed that actually tells kids how to avoid getting pregnant and thus need abortions. That will definitely stop kids from having sex.