Senate Committee Advances Abortion Bill
House-approved legislation that would require abortion doctors to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals passed in the Senate Health and Welfare Committee today.
Monroe Rep. Katrina Jackson said her legislation is about the safety of Louisiana's women.
Cindy Collins, with Louisiana Abortion Recovery, said choosing to end a pregnancy is dangerous.
"There's significant academic evidence of abortion's physical harm to women, including immediate complications," Collins said. "Research shows that about 10 percent suffer immediate complications, one-fifth of which are life-threatening."
Research shows that about 10 percent suffer immediate complications, one-fifth of which are life-threatening.
Collins said those complications include "hemorrhage, infection, ripped or perforated uterus, cervical injury, convulsions and more."
But those who oppose the bill say women without access to a nearby clinic would find a way to have an abortion one way or another. Baton Rouge and New Orleans abortion clinic administrator Sylvia Cochran said these women would turn to the streets.
"And that's not safe!" Cochran exclaimed. "And you may not believe it, but I am not lying to you. Even in Texas people are going over the border and just buying the pills."
Cochran said House Bill 388 would close abortion clinics throughout the state, and women who want to end pregnancies would choose unsafe ways to have it done.
Jackson says it should be the law that abortion doctors be held to the same standard of medical care as every other physician.
Ellie Schilling is an attorney who represents several Louisiana abortion clinics. She said it isn't true that the law requires doctors who perform outpatient procedures to have admitting privileges.
"Physicians are only required to have admitting privileges if the procedure involves deep sedation or general anesthesia," said Schilling. "No abortions are performed in Louisiana using that level of sedation."
The measure had no opposition by committee members and now heads to the Senate floor.