National Partnership for Women & Families

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La. House passes 72-hour mandatory delay, provider certification bills

The Louisiana House on Wednesday passed two antiabortion-rights bills, the AP/Sacramento Bee reports.

Both measures now proceed to the state Senate.

Mandatory delay bill

The state House voted 89-5 to advance one bill (HB 386), sponsored by state Rep. Frank Hoffman (R), that would extend the state's mandatory delay before an abortion from 24 hours to 72 hours (Deslatte, AP/Sacramento Bee, 4/6).The extended delay would not apply to women who live 150 miles or more from their nearest abortion clinic. However, those women would still have to delay care for at least 24 hours after the initial visit (Women's Health Policy Report, 3/31).

According to the Baton Rouge Advocate, abortion-rights supporters have voiced opposition to mandatory delay legislation. According to advocates, such legislation makes it more difficult for women to access care, particularly low-income women and those who live in rural regions (Crisp, Baton Rouge Advocate, 4/6).

Five other states already have 72-hour mandatory delays in place. Overall, 28 states have enacted mandatory delay laws (Women's Health Policy Report, 3/31).

Certification bill

State lawmakers in the House also voted 87-0 to pass a measure (HB 488), sponsored by state Rep. Katrina Jackson (D), that would impose new certification requirements for abortion providers (AP/Sacramento Bee, 4/6).

Under the bill, abortion providers would be required to be board certified or certifiable in either family medicine or OB-GYN. Medical students in OB-GYN or family medicine residency programs would be allowed to provide abortion care only under the "direct supervision" of a board-certified physician (Women's Health Policy Report, 3/31).