LCRF Responds to the Passage of 2 Anti-Abortion Bills

The Louisiana Coalition for Reproductive Freedom strongly condemn today's passage of the dangerous HB 578, the so-called abortion pill reversal bill. This bill forces physicians to to provide false and misleading information to patients regarding medication abortion, which the Louisiana Department of Health and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists opposed. Medication abortion reversal is not supported by science and fails to meet clinical standards. In fact, when a random control study was attempted, it had to be stopped because 25 percent of the participants, pregnant people, began hemorrhaging and had to be taken into emergency care. 

The bill was misrepresented to the Senate as being a consumer protection bill. Amendments were added that altered the required disclosure statement, but that does nothing to alleviate the problem with this bill - that it requires doctors to give their patients misleading information that will confuse them and could put their health and safety at risk. Senators also removed a commonsense amendment that was added to the bill to ensure it would only take effect if the FDA were to approve the protocol.

This bill was clearly intended to shame and confuse people, and this is a tactic we at the coalition have seen too often from those opposing abortion care. And it puts pregnant people--the very same people the anti-choice industry claims it wants to protect--at risk. Today, the legislature has chosen to disregard medical science and have inserted themselves into private conversations that should only involve a patient and their physician.

We also condemn the passage of HB 357. In Louisiana, a minor who is seeking an abortion and who cannot get parental consent, can seek a judicial bypass. The law allowed them to go to court either in the parish where they lived or in the parish where the abortion clinic is located. 

Earlier today, the Louisiana state legislature passed this extremely harmful bill that limits judicial venue and  requires minors to go to court in the parish where they live. Additionally, the reporting requirements in this bill would make it easy for the public to identify the patient and the Judge who may be granting the bypass, putting their safety at risk. Senator Jackson and Representative Crews both completely misrepresented the bill to their colleagues by failing to acknowledge the substantial change it makes to existing law. 

Those who are applying for judicial bypass are a very small segment of pregnant minors in Louisiana. The overwhelming majority of pregnant young people do involve their parents, but others may need a judicial bypass because of rape, severe abuse, threats of violence, and other coercive behavior by parents. Many small-town courthouses are right in the center of town and the staff in the courthouse in a town where everyone knows everyone might recognize this young woman or her name. Young people from small or rural communities will face more risks to confidentiality. 

In Texas where this is required, it has seriously limited access. We must speak out and speak up to make it clear that this bill would make things even worse for young people who are already in a tough position.

HB357 by Representative Raymond Crews

HB578 by Representative Beryl Amedee