May 29, 2014 — Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin (R) on Wednesday signed into law a bill (SB 1848) that will require abortion providers in the state to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles, Reuters reports (Finn, Reuters, 5/28).
SB 1848 also requires the state health board to develop operational standards for clinics that perform abortions. The state Senate last week dropped a provision that would have banned embryonic stem cell research before passing the bill and sending it back to the House for final approval (Women's Health Policy Report, 5/27).
La. Gov. Expected To Sign Admitting Privileges Bill
Meanwhile, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) is expected this week to sign into law a bill (HB 388) with a similar admitting privileges requirement, Reuters reports (Reuters, 5/28).
The bill, introduced by state Rep. Katrina Jackson (D), also would create a database that would contain anonymous statistics on the number of abortions performed in the state.
The measure also would require physicians who provide abortions only occasionally to acquire a license from the state if they perform more than five abortions annually, up from more than five monthly under current rules. The doctors' names, locations and status as an abortion provider would be public information.
Further, the bill would extend the state's restrictions on surgical abortions to apply to medication abortions. For example, women seeking medication abortions would face a mandatory delay of 24 hours after requesting the drugs. Medication abortions also would have to be reported to the state Department of Health and Hospitals under the bill (Women's Health Policy Report, 5/22).
Melissa Flournoy, director for Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast, projected that at least three of the state's five abortion clinics will have to close because of the measure. "It's clear the intent of this legislation is to shut down health centers, which would have devastating consequences for women across Louisiana," she said in a statement (Reuters, 5/28).