Louisiana Bill Would Create Database Of Women Who Take Morning-After Pill

| by Jared Keever

State Rep. Katrina Jackson, Democrat, has proposed a bill in Louisiana that would require the state to keep a database of women who have “medication abortions," according to The bill is known as the “Unsafe Abortion Protection Act” and is similar to those in other states, like Oklahoma and Texas, that require abortion clinics to have hospital admitting privileges. However, the Louisiana bill also changes the statutory definition of the first trimester from “six to 14 weeks” to “up to 14 weeks.” 

That change, according to the website Jezebel, would mean that a woman is legally considered pregnant from the day of conception. The distinction means that any woman who takes the controversial morning-after pill would have had a “medication abortion.” The woman’s information would then be reported to a state database.

The Louisiana-based blog CenLamar has excerpts from the proposed bill and cites the language that would create the database. 

The excerpt in question reads, “If a physician prescribes, dispenses, administers, or provides any drug or chemical to a pregnant woman for the purpose of inducing an abortion as defined in R.S. 40:1299.35.1, the physician shall report the abortion to the Department of Health and Hospitals as provided in R.S. 40:1299.35.10.”

Salon reports that Gov. Bobby Jindal, a Republican, supports the proposed bill. 

Louisiana has seen a spate of laws and controversies concerning reproductive health recently. Jindal also threw his support behind a bill proposed by State Rep. Frank Hoffman, Republican, that would ban employees of abortion clinics from making any presentations at public or charter schools. Last month, the state's Department of Health and Hospitals decided not to pursue restrictions that would have imposed a 30-day waiting period on women who wanted to obtain an abortion.

Jackson and Hoffman’s bills are both scheduled for consideration by the legislature early this week.

Sources: Salon, Jezebel, CenLamar