Louisiana House Approves 72-Hour Waiting Period For Abortions
Apr 07, 2016 12:17 AM EDT
The Louisiana House voted and approved on Wednesday a 72-hour wait time for women wanting to have abortion, tripling the normal waiting time. If pushed, the legislation called House Bill 386, will make Louisiana the sixth state to have the longest waiting period in the United States.
In a report by ABC News, the change to the restrictions of abortion in Louisiana is supported by Democratic Governor John Bel Edwards. It had an 89 to 5 votes through the House and will now be moving to the Senate for consideration. The bill was introduced by Republican Representative Frank Hoffmann.
Currently in Louisiana, women have two wait 24 hours from the time she consults with a doctor before getting an abortion. She also has to get a mandatory ultrasound. However, the new proposal includes an exception for women who live 150 miles from the nearest abortion clinic. They would have to wait 24 hours still.
According to Hoffmann, Louisiana is one of the top pro-life states in America and the longer waiting period could help reduce the number of abortions in the state by giving women more time to consider alternatives. Hoffman added that the bill will certainly help "prevent against later regret" as the life of the unborn child is what will be affected by the decision of the woman, The New Orleans Advocate reported.
Despite the overwhelming bipartisan support, abortion rights groups oppose the legislation. They said that the bill will make it more difficult for women to access a legal procedure, St. Louis Post Dispatch reported.
Also approved by the Louisiana House is the measure that will require doctors who will perform abortions to be either board certified or certifiable in obstetrics and gynecology. The bill was proposed by Rep. Katrina Jackson.
Five other states including Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and Utah have required the 72-hour waiting period. No other state has pushed for a longer period more than three days.