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Sick of hearing about all the various bills states are passing or trying to pass to restrict women's reproductive rights? Me too.

Unfortunately, the powers-that-be in Virginia, North Carolina, Texas, Arizona, Kansas, Mississippi, Alabama and other states aren't sick of it. On the contrary, they just won't stop doing what they can to shutter abortion clinics and put lives at risk. They are determined to make it ever more difficult for women who don't have a lot of money to obtain what the highest Court in the land has said for 41 years is their constitutional right. (And as some of these forced-birthers have made clear over the past few years, given half a chance they'll make effective birth control hard to get, too.)

And it's not just Republicans who are backing these draconian restrictions.

One of the latest efforts is in Louisiana, where a boatload of anti-abortion bills have been working their way through the legislature. The spotlight right now is on HB 388, which would promote back-alley abortions by forcing the closure of three of the state's five clinics as a consequence of requiring their physicians to have admitting privileges at a hospital within a 30-mile radius that has obstetrical-gynecological services. The bill passed the Louisiana House by a vote of 85-6 at the end of March and a Senate committee last week. The full Senate was expected to debate the bill Wednesday.

A coalition of groups, including Choice Louisiana and Planned Parenthood, has been working to defeat HB 388 and several other anti-abortion bills. The strategy sounds familiar. It includes using social media and email to broadcast general information and action alerts, like this one, as well as petitions via CREDO and UltraViolet. Planned Parenthood has taken the lead in getting foes of the anti-abortion bills who have connections with state lawmakers to do in-person lobbying in Baton Rouge. And members of the coalition are making media appearances whenever and wherever possible, with Ellie Schilling, a New Orleans lawyer, doing most of this.

But one of Choice's leaders, who asked not to be named for fear of retribution, concedes that the coalition has few allies in state government. In an email, the leader wrote that during a hearing on the bill before the Senate Committee on Health and Welfare last week:

[T]he committee members sat through the antichoice testimony. However, when the prochoice testimony started ALL BUT TWO of the Senators left the room. Even with extensive voter support, the Senators didn’t even bother pretending to listen!
Please read below the fold for more analysis on HB 388 and other anti-abortion bills Louisiana is considering.

The admitting privileges provision of the egregious HB 388 isn't a Louisiana invention. It's not unlike the law in Mississippi designed to close the state's last remaining abortion clinic. Only a lawsuit has kept that from happening so far.

Other states have also passed such laws or have lawmakers eager to do so. In Texas, the admitting privileges law could shut down as many as 18 of the state's remaining 24 abortion clinics. Indeed, some clinics have already closed in anticipation of the law coming into force, which it will do Sept. 1 unless blocked by the courts. The Center for Reproductive Rights filed suit in April on behalf of the clinics.

As with all the admitting privileges restrictions on abortion clinics, the Louisiana bill is medically unnecessary. But it is even more duplicitous than others. The introducing sponsor, Democrat Katrina Jackson, has said that all Louisiana physicians that operate ambulatory surgery clinics must meet that requirement. But that's just not so.

Schilling said by email:

Hardly any physicians in Louisiana who perform outpatient surgeries are required by law to have admitting privileges—only those performing outpatient surgery
under deep sedation or general anesthesia. Therefore, the bill singles out doctors who perform abortions for disparate treatment, and it is not consistent with the other laws in our state that dictate standard of care for physicians.

The reason for this is also simple: because standard of care does not require doctors performing outpatient surgeries to have admitting privileges. The continuity of care that proponents of the bill claim that they are trying to ensure in the context of patients receiving abortions rarely exists today in any context when a patient is admitted to the hospital.  Modern practice of medicine in Louisiana and throughout the United States is that the majority of patients are admitted to the hospital through hospitalists who admit and treat patients requiring hospitalization. The majority of patients are not admitted through the doctor who performed the outpatient surgery—regardless of whether the patient's outpatient physician has admitting privileges.

The bill will make matters especially tough on rural women. Many of their doctors would have a hard time getting admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles. Other provisions in the bill redefine a regulated abortion as one that occurs at any point after conception. Currently, doctors who perform more than five abortions a month must operate at a licensed abortion facility. HB 388 would make that a requirement if they perform more than five abortions in a year. Again, this makes it tough in rural areas.

Gov. Bobby Jindal supports the bill.

Three other bills are being considered as well:

HB 1274: This bill, already passed unanimously by the Louisiana House, would mandate that a pregnant brain-dead woman be kept on life support until the fetus develops far enough to be viable.  

HB 1262 mandates that physicians or other qualified persons provide a pamphlet to women seeking abortions. The pamphlet cannot come from an abortion provider but it can come from someone who counsels women not to obtain abortions. It would list the "serious psychological impacts, including severe emotional distress and mental and behavioral health afflictions" that supposedly accompany abortions.

HB 305 prohibits "Knowingly providing any materials of any kind to school personnel or any other person for viewing by or distribution to students at a public elementary or secondary school, or at a charter school that receives state funding, regardless of the topic or viewpoint of such materials, if the materials are created by or bear the identifying mark of an organization, individual, or any other entity, or of an affiliate of any such organization, individual, or entity, that performs elective abortion. ..." That's right. Even if the topic is how to cook a cherry pie, anybody affiliated with an abortion provider or using materials developed by an abortion provider cannot make a presentation of the contents at a public or charter school.

While the other bills may pass legislative and judicial muster, if that bill becomes law, Choice Louisiana is fairly certain they can overturn it on First Amendment grounds.

Originally posted to Meteor Blades on Wed May 14, 2014 at 08:50 AM PDT.

Also republished by Pro Choice, This Week in the War on Women, and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  While these bills make me feel despair, (10+ / 0-)

    the only tiny gleam of hope that I can hold is that someday, somehow, they will make it so bad for poor southerners that they will stop voting against their own interests and vote the Republicans out.

    It has to happen eventually.  People won't be driven into the ground forever without wanting to do something about it.

    I blog about my daughter with autism at her website

    by coquiero on Wed May 14, 2014 at 08:54:08 AM PDT

  •  ideological claptrap designed to control women (10+ / 0-)

    written by brain-dead men that will keep constitutional lawyers employed

    • HB1274: This bill, already passed unanimously by the Louisiana House, would mandate that a pregnant brain-dead woman be kept on life support until the fetus develops far enough to be viable. ....

    • HB305 prohibits "Knowingly providing any materials of any kind to school personnel or any other person for viewing by or distribution to students at a public elementary or secondary school, or at a charter school that receives state funding, regardless of the topic or viewpoint of such materials, if the materials are created by or bear the identifying mark of an organization, individual, or any other entity, or of an affiliate of any such organization, individual, or entity, that performs elective abortion..."

    That's right. Even if the topic is how to cook a cherry pie, anybody affiliated with an abortion provider or using materials developed by an abortion provider cannot make a presentation of the contents at a public or charter school.

    Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "If we appear to seek the unattainable, then let it be known that we do so to avoid the unimaginable." (@eState4Column5)

    by annieli on Wed May 14, 2014 at 08:57:33 AM PDT

  •  Tyranny? (8+ / 0-)

    From a group that defines tyranny as enacting laws that restrict the freedom of Americans to exercise self-determination, laws are enacted that prevent Americans from exercising the right to self-determination.

    When will someone point this out to them?

    Taking the road less traveled since 1967 .

    by Paragryne on Wed May 14, 2014 at 09:00:31 AM PDT

  •  Have coathanger (4+ / 0-)

    Will travel...

    "the northern lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see. Was that night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee". - Robert Service, Bard of the Yukon

    by Joe Jackson on Wed May 14, 2014 at 09:16:12 AM PDT

    •  With the advent of pharmaceuticals which (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Joe Jackson

      do the job better than a coathanger, I wonder if that's a thing of the past.

      Not that I'm recommending it, it's still a dangerous business, but I think people are much more likely to take a chance on internet abortion drugs than coathangers.

      I blog about my daughter with autism at her website

      by coquiero on Wed May 14, 2014 at 09:26:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not always as sometimes a D&C is the (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        coquiero, Meteor Blades

        only way, especially if using improvised tools purchased from vet supply shops and other places (for example, a pressure cooker for sterilization).  While there is a vacuum aspiration device that can be made out of a syringe and a few other items it can only be used 5-12 weeks after the last menstrual period and can fail to work if used before 6 weeks.  The pill isn't much better as it can only be used up to 7 weeks pregnant (49 days since the last menstrual period).

        That being said, the Jane Collective proved that it is possible for an ordinary person off the street to perform surgical abortions relatively safely (nowhere near as safely as in a doctor's office or abortion clinic, and if there are any complications the woman is screwed) with proper training and supervised practice.  Sadly it looks like we might be returning to those bad old days and there may be little that can be done to stop it.  Still worth the fight though.

        You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

        by Throw The Bums Out on Wed May 14, 2014 at 01:24:43 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Also, are these pills painless? (0+ / 0-)

        When I had my miscarriage, I went into active labor - I likened it to all of the pain of labor, but no baby at the end. My options were pharmacueticals to speed up nature's process, or a D&C.  I was told the pills could take up to 48-72 hours, & that they would intensify my pain.  Whereas, I received a general for my D&C, & it was relatively painless, physically speaking.  Plus, in any case, there is the possibility of the complication of extreme bleeding.  If you're talking about women who live in remote areas, or maybe women with limited skills, seeing a professional might be a safer route.  Either way, it SHOULD be a matter of choice.

  •  It never ceases to amaze me (7+ / 0-)

       That these folks who are attempting to regulate Clinics out of existence are the same folks that are complaining about unemployed women who stay at home to take care of infants, etc.  

         I'll never understand how these folks get elected and stay in office.

    •  But only unemployed women of color (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Paragryne, coquiero

      They want white women locked up at at home with the kids so they won't threaten the economic dominance or political power of white men. OTOH, women of color who drop out of the workforce to take care of their children or their elderly parents, generally because their wages are so low they can't afford to pay for child/elder care, are welfare queens.

      Like you, I don't understand the double standard either. But then, I've also never understood why we couldn't enlarge elementary schools to include day care centers so everyone, regardless of color, could have readily accessible child care. Oh, that would mean raising taxes and assuming women's lives were worthy of as much societal support as men's.  

      Nevermind...

      Radarlady

    •  They don't actually care about the clinics (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      coquiero

      They care about punishing the "sluts".  The clinics they could take or leave (or most likely, not notice at all), but if the absence of clinics punishes women who dare to try to claim ownership of their bodies, then the clinics must be closed.  Collateral damage in the war on women.

      They also don't care about how abortion actually relates to women's reality.  It's always murder, done to make life easy for the inconvenienced hussy who got herself knocked up; it's never the best of a bad lot of choices for a woman (and often, her family) who would rather do anything else.

      "Education is the key to unlock the golden door of freedom." -- G.W.Carver

      by northbronx on Wed May 14, 2014 at 09:55:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Their policies definitely don't match ideology. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    coquiero, LinSea, Paragryne

    If there's one party that needs to be FOR abortion, it should be the GOP. Because they totally don't give a flying fuck what happens to that kid the moment it pops out. And if the child needs expensive care and the parents can't afford it, they really hate that kid and the kid's family for mooching off the tax payer.

    We've seen it all--cuts to school lunches, cuts to medical care, cuts to education, etc. Since they feel that way about it, and they do, abortion seems like the perfect policy for them.

  •  It's such a shame (0+ / 0-)

    that these legislators' mothers didn't die in childbirth.  Maybe their daughters will, though.  Oh wait - their daughters are rich white girls. They'll be fine.

    "Education is the key to unlock the golden door of freedom." -- G.W.Carver

    by northbronx on Wed May 14, 2014 at 09:33:57 AM PDT

  •  Forceed-Birthers. I like that. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    coquiero

    It's more more descriptive of Pro-Death penalty, Pro-War people who call themselves Pro-Life.

    Republican Health Care Plan: marry a Canadian.

    by shoeless on Wed May 14, 2014 at 09:42:31 AM PDT

  •  These are the same (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Paragryne, coquiero

    people who hold the 2nd Amendment to be so sacred that they don't mind voting to allow anyone with the money to have and use guns to kill whom ever they want if they even have illusions about their life being threatened .

    These same people fight to keep guns off the market that will prevent many accidental or intentional gunshot deaths and injuries if the gun does not belong to the person doing the shooting.

    This has nothing to do with Pro-Life or Religion.

    This is a man's thing ,because they can go about killing everything that moves but, will not permit a woman to protect herself .If men could get pregnant there would be an abortion clinic on every corner and anyone who tries to stop them for getting one or using contraceptives  would be mowed down with an AK-47.  

  •  Our Democratic governor Terry McAuliffe is (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    coquiero, VirginiaBlue

    attempting to roll back the ridiculous, reactionary restrictions imposed by the Kook-a-Nelly crowd when they were in office. McAuliffe encouraged the forced-birther Medical Board to resign a month early and filled the positions with pro-choice people. He's now figuring out a way from keeping the restrictions from ever going into effect.

    He's also trying to figure out a way to expand Medicaid to those who need it despite the intransigence of our Rethug state house.

    Glad he's our governor and not the Kook!  Otherwise I'd be going around in a burqa.

    "Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

    by Diana in NoVa on Wed May 14, 2014 at 09:51:16 AM PDT

  •  use of experts in determining policy (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    coquiero

     Maybe they could introduce a bill requiring legislators to consult with experts in their field to prevent needless regulation.  It could be passed with  environmental laws in mind---but would, if passed, be relevant to 'admitting procedures' and the like.
      It's difficult.  Over 250,000 evangelical women got an abortion last year.  Hmmm.

  •  That the Senators left the room (5+ / 0-)

    when pro-choice arguments began is just egregious and indecent and unethical.  It is reminiscent of the Missouri legislature just last week that said Medicaid expansion is now impossible because Missouri citizens protested to have it expanded.  There is no respect for Americans and they act as though we work for them.

    What is it with these people and their love of punishment and shame?  

    Taking the road less traveled since 1967 .

    by Paragryne on Wed May 14, 2014 at 09:57:55 AM PDT

  •  HB 1274 is ghastly. (0+ / 0-)

    That sounds like "government by anecdote" to me.

    I'll always be...King of Bain...I'll always be...King of Bain

    by AZphilosopher on Wed May 14, 2014 at 11:26:48 AM PDT

  •  JOE GARDEN! (0+ / 0-)

    Excellent acting performance by an excellent man.

    "The strictest law sometimes becomes the severest injustice." -- Ben Franklin

    by Ouroboros on Wed May 14, 2014 at 01:14:00 PM PDT

  •  These lawmakers never listen (0+ / 0-)

    to women and our reproductive needs. My guess is they are the type of people who cannot say the word "TAMPON" because they think it is used by women to get off or something (rolling my eyes here). Imagine what "abortion" reminds them of?  The level of "vagina-imagery" (Vaginary) is deeply polarized as either "dirty" or "clean," or "whore" or "virgin," for "birthing God's children" or a "penis jar" for pleasure. Anti-choicers do not care about women using hangers or ulcer drugs for abortions, they do not care about women going into flea markets to find "La Curendera" for treatment, or that women could die because the "whore," (whatever that means) the "dirty" vagina, the "penis jar," to them, deserves what they get and should remain in the alley...no way should it be part of the "mainstream." You could present all the science in the world, or the patriarchal inventions of what women's vaginas were design for, or facts about rape and incest, or even deformities that will kill children at birth, or the hurt the mother's mental health and it will still come down to the idea that abortion is only for "whores" again, whatever that means. Even the ten year old who was impregnated by her uncle "brought it on" somehow, according to their logic. It's disgusting, particularly since men do not get stigmatized in all this...and why would they? Their too busy yanking off to all the Viagra their insurance can handle!

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