La. House Advances Pre-Abortion Information Bill

April 23, 2014 — The Louisiana House on Monday passed a bill (HB 1262) that would require abortion providers to give women seeking abortions written materials on supposed negative psychological effects of abortion, as well as information on human trafficking and coercion, the New Orleans Times-Picayune reports (O'Donoghue, New Orleans Times-Picayune, 4/21).

Under current state law, women seeking abortions must be told about the physical risks of abortion, as well as alternatives to the procedure. Originally, the bill only included the information about supposed "increased risk of psychiatric and psychological harm" from an abortion, but state Rep. Barry Ivey (R) revised the measure in committee to add the information about trafficking.

The bill also would require that the information include resources for women facing any of those situations. The women would be required to receive the information at least 24 hours before an abortion (Women's Health Policy Report, 4/11).

In addition, the bill specifies that the pamphlet information be developed by a committee comprised of state lawmakers and people who counsel women against having abortions. The committee is not allowed to include abortion providers or mental health providers who support abortion services (New Orleans Times-Picayune, 4/21).

Little Debate on Measure

According to the Times-Picayune, there was little debate over the measure, aside from state Rep. Pat Smith (D) questioning whether the brochure would be available in multiple languages and how it much it would cost the state.

The state's Legislative Fiscal Office was unable to provide an estimate on the bill's cost because the bill did not state if committee members would be compensated for travel costs or given a per diem payment (New Orleans Times-Picayune, 4/21).

The measure now proceeds to the state Senate (Baton Rouge Advocate, 4/22).