The anti-choice movement has been met with nothing but failure when its leaders attempt to outlaw abortion outright. Americans, both voters and the courts, recognize that the right to choose if and when to be a parent is an essential freedom. These bills represent a more insidious agenda: removing access to abortion by chipping it away piece by piece.
People of limited means, and thus who have limited ability to travel to states that are friendlier to reproductive health care access, will be the ones most affected by these bills. NOAF asks you to take a stand this session!
2016 Legislative Session
Talking Points on HB 386 ("Three-Day Delay")
72-hour waiting periods have very little impact on women's decision-making. We trust women to be secure in their decisions to pursue the best healthcare for themselves.
Mandated delays in obtaining care only serve to increase the costs and logistical challenges to patients. These laws disproportionately impact people with limited access to transportation, who live paycheck-to-paycheck and cannot miss additional work, or who are already parents and need to secure childcare.
States that have passed 72 hour waiting periods have spent millions of taxpayer dollars defending these laws, which are not grounded in medical, psychological, or public health best practice. Louisiana should focus on legislation that helps our communities access healthcare.
Statement from the New Orleans Abortion Fund on HB 386
March 31, 2016
Yesterday, the Louisiana House Health and Welfare Committee demonstrated how little they trust the judgement and autonomy of Louisiana women. By voting to impose a 2-visit requirement and 3-day delay between the time a patient first meets with her doctor after deciding to have an abortion, and obtaining the abortion care she needs, House Health and Welfare once again put political ideology over sensible public health and respect for women. The New Orleans Abortion Fund is outraged, but un-surprised given this committee's recurring rejection of the idea that women can be moral decision-makers.
The New Orleans Abortion Fund (NOAF) provides financial assistance to clients who cannot afford the full cost of abortion care. "Our clients are strong, self-assured women who have made the decision to have an abortion after careful consideration of their physical and mental health, family needs and finances, and plans for their educational and employment futures," says Amy Irvin, Executive Director of the New Orleans Abortion Fund. "70% of our clients have children. They are well aware of the impact of pregnancy and parenthood on their lives, without condescending laws forcing them to delay receiving the abortion they have already decided to obtain."
Compelling women to delay their abortion care does almost nothing to change their minds, but it does create logistical and financial challenges. A recent study of the impact of 72-hour waiting periods in Utah found that it had very little impact on women's decision-making. Instead, it led to an increase in the cost of the procedure; the possibility that the clinic will not be able to perform a later abortion; and additional costs related to child care, travel, and missed work and school.
Louisianans seeking abortion deserve better from their lawmakers. In this time of economic insecurity, when our society's safety net is being decimated, placing additional barriers on health care is unnecessary and cruel. We trust Louisianans to carefully consider their options and obtain the care they need. As this bill moves to the Louisiana House of Representatives, we call on our elected officials to trust Louisiana women.
2015 Legislative Session
Simply put, there is no reason for this bill. No research indicates that the United States utilizes sex-selective abortion. Louisiana women deserve more credit than this. HB 701 is a cynical attempt to garner support for a false “women’s issue,” while not promoting any policy to increase women’s rights. Advocates for sex-selective abortion bans often invoke a “bogeyman” – often a woman of color or recent immigrant – who obtains an abortion because of the sex of her fetus. This thinly-veiled racism is an insult to the diverse women in our state, who strive for the best for their families, and deserve access to quality reproductive health care.
SB 80 has grave consequences for women seeking certain forms of contraception, abortion, and pregnancy methods, including IVF and surrogacy. Reasonable people - regardless of their opinion on abortion - agree that women deserve access to birth control, fertility treatments, and lifesaving medical care, as in the case of an ectopic pregnancy. This bill denies these rights, by declaring a fertilized embryo as equivalent to a person and always entitled to "life", even at the expense of the pregnant person's life. It goes too far.
SB 8 undermines medical, public health, and legal best practices in a way that will harm pregnant women and families. This bill does nothing to support drug-using women who become pregnant. In a state with dwindling access to substance abuse treatment, it criminalizes women who are addicted to (or are suspected of being addicted to) drugs who choose to continue their pregnancies. Instead of offering compassion and rehabilitation, HB 8 offers only incarceration. Major medical associations, such as American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the American Medical Association, and the National Perinatal Association agree that these laws negatively impact babies. Women who are most in need of prenatal care and substance abuse treatment are instead deterred from seeking medical attention, out of fear that their doctor will be legally forced to report them.
2014 Legislative Session
Bobby Jindal let down his constituents. This is not the first time that our governor has disappointed us. It is only the most recent time that his actions will lead to the deaths of Louisianans.
The New Orleans Abortion Fund is outraged that Jindal and Katrina Jackson, the Democratic representative who authored HB 388, had the audacity to celebrate its signing. This law is not a cause for celebration, it is a call to organize, mobilize, and fight back. HB 388 will close clinics, forcing our most desperate and vulnerable neighbors to back-alley abortions.
As Louisiana politicians, both Democrats like Katrina Jackson and Republicans like Bobby Jindal, continue their relentless attacks on the residents of our state, the New Orleans Abortion Fund calls on its supporters to speak for the one in three American women who have an abortion every year. We will continue to pressure legislators through the words, writing, and wallets of the silent majority.
Louisiana House Bill 388, introduced by Representative Katrina Jackson (D - Monroe), will require all abortion providers to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the clinic in which the abortion is performed. This bill echoes the recent restrictions that have closed numerous clinics in Texas.
In partnership with the other grassroots organizations in the newly-formed Louisiana Coalition for Reproductive Freedom, NOAF will continue to advocate for abortion access in Louisiana in the face of these attacks.
HB 1274 prohibits termination of life-sustaining procedures if a person is pregnant. While these situations are extremely tragic, they are also extremely rare and do not warrant the passage of legislation.
This is a decision between a woman and her family in consultation with her physician. If the woman has signed a DNR order, then the hospital should use that order when determining medical care. If the woman has not signed a DNR, her family’s wishes should be used in determining medical care. Keeping someone who is pregnant on unwanted advanced life support is tremendously costly. Additionally, such situations are so rare that they are considered experimental. Women's bodies should not be experimented on in this manner without their full consent. These experiments harken back to a terrible time in our nation's history.
Parents are expected to make tremendous sacrifices for their children and do so willingly every day. In death, we owe women the respect of not overriding their medical wishes.
This bill wrongly puts the government in between a women and her family, her doctor, and her faith in the saddest and most extremely painful last moments of her life.
HB 1274 denies women of their civil and human rights by ignoring patient directives and depriving pregnant women of their status as constitutional persons.