June 17, 2013 — Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) on Friday signed into law an antiabortion bill (HB 278) that makes "coerced abotion" of a minor equal to child abuse, the New Orleans Times-Picayune reports (Kumar, New Orleans Times-Picayune, 6/14).
HB 278, proposed by state Rep. Valerie Hodges (R), defines coercing a minor into an abortion as an act of child abuse. The law defines coercion as the use of force, intimidation, threat of force, or deprivation of food or shelter. It does not allow exceptions if the girl's health or life is at risk, except in cases of ectopic pregnancies but allows parents to suggest a daughter obtain an abortion in cases of fetal demise or if she is in the process of miscarrying (Women's Health Policy Report, 5/16).
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).