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Gov. Jindal signs new limits on Louisiana abortions

Critics say new restrictions on abortion providers in Louisiana would force the clinics in New Orleans and Baton Rouge to shut down.

By Frances Burns
Gov. Jindal signs new limits on Louisiana abortions
Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, UPI/A.J. Sisco | License Photo

MONROE, La., June 12 (UPI) -- Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal signed "pro-life legislation" Thursday that requires doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals.

Critics, who call the bill the Unsafe Abortion Protection Act, say it could close the remaining clinics in New Orleans and Baton Rouge. It was based on a Texas law that has forced at least 19 of the 33 clinics in the state out of business.

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A second bill bans Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers from distributing health information at public and charter schools. Jindal signed the bills in Monroe because the sponsors, Democratic state Rep. Katrina Jackson and Republican Frank Hoffman, are from the area.

"I am proud to sign these bills because they will help us continue to protect women and the life of the unborn in our state," Jindal said in a statement. "These new laws will give women the health and safety protections they deserve and continue to make Louisiana a state that values individual human life."

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A lawyer for the clinics said a court challenge is almost certain and that they will ask for a stay while the litigation continues. In Texas, clinics who challenged the law were denied a stay, while the only clinic in Mississippi remains open while similar legislation there is being appealed.

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Doctors at abortion clinics sometimes have a hard time getting hospital admitting privileges. Anti-abortion protesters have also targeted hospitals that do extend admitting privileges.

The Louisiana bill would also require doctors who perform fewer than five abortions a month in private practice to register as providers.

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