June 17, 2013 — Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) on Friday signed into law an antiabortion bill (SB 90) that places new restictions on abortion access, the New Orleans Times-Picayune reports (Kumar, New Orleans Times-Picayune, 6/14).
SB 90, sponsored by state Sen. Fred Mills (R), requires medication abortion providers to be "in the physical presence of the pregnant woman when the drug or chemical is initially administered." The bill also requires abortion providers to have training in obstetrics and gynecology or family planning, and it increases the fines for abortion clinic violations.
Supporters of the bill say it is designed to prevent the use of telemedicine in medication abortion care (Women's Health Policy Report, 6/3). However, opponents say the measure would limit access to abortion services for women living in rural areas.
Jindal released a statement, saying, "In Louisiana, we think it is incumbent upon us to promote a culture of life and to protect those who cannot protect themselves." He added, "We also believe that we must protect the health and welfare of our pregnant women by ensuring they receive [the] care they need" (New Orleans Times-Picayune, 6/14).