In Louisiana, Democratic governor John Bel Edwards has signed into law three pro-life pieces of legislation aimed at protecting unborn children. All three laws will take effect starting on August 1.
The first is a major success, a relatively new form of pro-life law: It requires doctors to inform women seeking a chemical abortion that there is a medical method that might enable her to reverse the procedure, should she wish to do so.
Despite media claims that “no verified scientific evidence” supports this policy, the best data available on the subject confirm that chemical abortions are reversible if treated prior to taking the second dose of the two-drug regimen. Here’s more from a longer piece I wrote on the science of abortion-pill reversal a few months back:
In the largest case series studying the effects of abortion-pill reversal, women who received treatment and successfully reversed an attempted abortion had no increased risk of complications or birth defects. Close to 70 percent of the 754 women studied were able to undo the effects of Mifeprex and carry healthy babies to term.
That’s the basis for informed-consent laws requiring doctors to tell women about abortion-pill reversal. There’s every reason to believe the method works, at least in some significant number of cases, and it’s an invaluable piece of information for a woman who begins a chemical abortion only to change her mind. It’s telling that supporters of legal abortion so vociferously oppose offering women that option.
The second new law in Louisiana modifies existing rules about how minors can bypass the state if their parents don’t consent to their abortion procedure. Currently, minors are permitted to seek permission from a judge either in their own jurisdiction or in the area where the abortion would be performed; under the new law, they could seek approval only from a local judge or one in an adjoining county.
The final policy enacted by Edwards is a law to collect more extensive information about the abortions that are performed in the state, though the information will not be available publicly.
Among other data, the law requires the state Department of Health to inform the attorney general and the Department of Children and Family Services each quarter of any abortions performed on girls under the age of 13.
The policy also requires hospitals to submit reports to the Department of Health on patients who obtain treatment for complications following an abortion procedure. Those reports will not include the name or address of the patients involved in each case.
This last law is especially interesting in light of last summer Supreme Court case June Medical v. Russo, in which the majority struck down a Louisiana law that required abortionists to maintain admitting privileges at a local hospital so that women could more easily obtain follow-up care in abortion-related emergencies. Though the enforcement of this new policy won’t require abortionists to adhere to safety standards, it should enable the state to see if there is a pattern of women requiring care after visiting particular abortion clinics.
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