Louisiana Governor Expected to Sign Anti-Choice Bills

Update 6/12/14: Governor Bobby Jindal officially announced that he will sign two anti-choice bills, one prohibiting family planning organizations to provide health education in schools and the other requiring clinic doctors to gain admitting privileges at a nearby hospital, into law Thursday. This will all but guaranteed the closure of the only family planning clinics in News Orleans and Baton Rouge.

The Louisiana state Senate passed two anti-choice bills Tuesday.

One measure would require women seeking abortions to be given dis-proven information about the supposed “emotional repercussions” of having an abortion – despite no evidence supporting these claims. Women would also receive separate pamphlets on illegal coercion, abuse, and human trafficking. While the groups advancing these measures suggest they have women’s interests and safety in mind, in reality, their intent is to use misleading information to influence women’s personal healthcare decisions.

The second prohibits family planning organizations that also offer abortion services from providing health education in public or charter schools. This takes authority from the local school boards that would normally determine what groups are able to speak in classrooms and what is appropriate to teach. This legislation singles out reproductive health organizations as no other groups are restricted by state law to speak in schools. Many say the bill clearly targets Planned Parenthood, an organization that provides accurate, age-appropriate sex education materials. The bill assumes organizations that offer family planning services promote abortions, which is false. The legislation, restricting trained health educators from accessing state-funded schools, creates a health risk for teenagers and young adults in a state with already high rates of teen pregnancy and STDs. A 31-5 Senate vote Tuesday sent the measure to Gov. Bobby Jindal, who has signaled his support for it.

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