Roe v. Wade in LA - 2008

Yesterday marked the 35th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision. I got to thinking about what that means to women in Louisiana. Periodically we hear of anti-abortion legislation being passed prohibiting this or that, but I was pretty unclear about just how restrictive abortion laws have become in this state. I decided to do a little research, and find out for myself exactly how many hoops women have to jump through here in order to obtain a legal abortion, and what I found was fairly shocking, even to me. Basically what I've discovered is, if you want an abortion in Louisiana, go somewhere else. For example:

Louisiana is:

- 2nd in the nation when it comes to restrictions on abortion, According to pro-life organization AUL (Americans United for Life).

-One of three states which have laws stating that if Roe v. Wade is overturned, all abortions (with the exception of threat to the mother's life only) are automatically prohibited.

-One of 18 states banning partial birth abortions.

-One of three states with resolutions in opposition to the Freedom of Choice Act, which proposes to codify Roe v. Wade.

-One of four states requiring viability testing.

-One of ten states with an unenforceable & unconstitutional law requiring spousal consent for an abortion.

-One of 38 states preventing abortions for minors without parental consent.

-One of 43 states requiring that only licensed physicians may perform abortions.

-One of 18 states with mandatory waiting periods.

-One of five states with a "gag rule" preventing state workers from providing abortion counseling or giving abortion referrals.

-One of five states prohibiting the use of public facilities for abortions.

-One of 27 states that provide state funds for abortion ONLY in the case of threat to the mother's life, rape, or incest.

-NOT one of12 states prohibiting abortion clinic blockades & harassment.

So, how does a woman in Louisiana find help when she is considering abortion? Planned Parenthood has clinics in Baton Rouge and New Orleans. Also, try here and here.

Finally, for those interested, I was recently interviewed by the local Lafayette, LA newspaper for an article on abortion rights. Check it out here, along with my snappy letter to the editor.

Remember your rights today. Stand up for true freedom - and a woman's right to choose.


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