Today, Governor Bobby Jindal signed a pair of pro-life bills into law that increase penalties for coerced abortions and strengthen protections for pregnant women across Louisiana. The bills are part of the Governor's 2013 Legislative Package.
Governor Jindal said, "In Louisiana, we think it is incumbent upon us to promote a culture of life and to protect those who cannot protect themselves. We also believe that we must protect the health and welfare of our pregnant women by ensuring they receive the care they need."
HB 278--by Representative Valerie Hodges--adds the coercion of a female child to undergo an abortion to the definition for child abuse.
The bill defines "coerced abortion" as the use of force, intimidation, threat of force, threat of deprivation of food and shelter, or the deprivation of food and shelter by a parent or any other person in order to compel a female child to undergo an abortion against her will.
SB 90--authored by Senator Fred Mills--creates protections for women who are administered a drug or chemical to induce an abortion.
The bill requires that a physician licensed in obstetrics and gynecology be physically present when a patient is administered a drug or chemical to induce an abortion. It also requires that the doctor give the patient instructions to return for a follow-up appointment to assess the woman's medical condition.
Any person who knowingly or negligently performs or attempts to perform an abortion without complying with proposed legislation will be subject to a fine of no more than $1,000, per incident, imprisoned for not more than two years, or both.