Louisiana rescinds controversial abortion rules

Feb. 4, 2014 at 2:18 PM
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BATON ROUGE, La., Feb. 4 (UPI) -- Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration has rescinded controversial new abortion regulations put in place in November on an emergency basis.

The regulations put onerous new requirements on abortion providers, critics said. The rules forced abortion clinics to use much larger rooms to perform the procedure and required a woman receiving an abortion to have had a blood test 30 days prior, the (New Orleans) Times-Picayune reported Tuesday.

Jindal, a Republican, said his administration had withdrawn the rules because they were not written clearly enough to avoid litigation, but a spokeswoman said new rules would be drafted and submitted for public comment.

"We withdrew the rules and the emergency rule in order to correct the language governing the licensure of outpatient abortion facilities before proceeding. We intend to issue a new set of proposed rules with a notice of intent in the future for public comment," wrote Olivia Watkins, spokeswoman for the Department of Health and Hospitals.

The decision was announced Monday night, the day before a public comment session had been scheduled that promised to draw heated protests from supporters and opponents of the new regulations.

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