May 16, 2014 — The Louisiana Senate on Wednesday approved a bill (HB 388) that would require physicians who provide abortion services to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles, the AP/Sacramento Bee reports.
Senators approved the measure 34-3. It now returns to the state House for consideration of senators' changes (AP/Sacramento Bee, 5/14). The bill was amended in a Senate committee so that it would impose a monetary fine, rather than a criminal sentence, on physicians found in violation of the law (Women's Health Policy Report, 5/9).
Senators on Wednesday also more specifically defined "active admitting privileges," an issue that arose in committee, according to the New Orleans Advocate (Shuler, New Orleans Advocate, 5/15).
The bill also would change licensure requirements for physicians who provide abortions only occasionally and extend the state's restrictions on surgical abortions to apply to medication abortions (Women's Health Policy Report, 5/9).
The House is expected to approve the Senate's changes (AP/Sacramento Bee, 5/14). The bill would then go to Gov. Bobby Jindal (R), who supports it.
Opponents of the legislation have argued that it creates stricter standards than those for facilities that provide more risky procedures. They also warn that it would force multiple abortion clinics to close. A similar measure in Texas has forced more than two dozen clinics to stop providing abortion services.
The bill's supporters claim it will improve women's safety (New Orleans Advocate, 5/15).