“We all want to protect women’s health and safety. This bill doesn’t do that,” says Planned Parenthood
Baton Rouge – Despite an outpouring of opposition from medical experts and women’s health advocates, the Louisiana Legislature today passed a dangerous bill (House Bill 388) that would severely restrict a woman’s access to safe, legal abortion in the state by requiring physicians to have admitting privileges at a local hospital. If enacted, HB 388 could force good health centers to close and severely hurt or eliminate access to safe, legal abortion in the southern part of the state. Planned Parenthood immediately called on Governor Bobby Jindal to veto the legislation as it poses a risk to women’s health.
“Planned Parenthood works every day to make sure women receive the high-quality health care they need in a safe, respectful environment, including abortion,” said Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. “We all want to protect women’s health and safety — this bill doesn’t do that. With similar restrictions passed in neighboring states over the objection of leading medical experts, we are deeply concerned that women in a vast stretch of this country are in real danger of losing the ability to access legal abortion safely. Governor Jindal must take a stand for women’s health and safety and veto this bill.”
Like similar restrictions passed in Texas, Alabama, Wisconsin, Mississippi and pending in other states like Oklahoma and Pennsylvania, this law was passed under the guise of protecting patient safety but it does the opposite. Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that abortion has over a 99 percent safety record. For patients’ safety, providers already have plans in place in case of an emergency. In fact, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and the American Medical Association (AMA) oppose admitting privilege restrictions, writing that: “There is no medical basis to require abortion providers to have local hospital admitting privileges. Emergency room physicians, hospital-based physicians, and on-call specialists already provide prompt and effective treatment to all patients with urgent medical needs, including women with abortion-related complications… Unless there is a substantial public health justification, legislators should not interfere with patient care, medical decisions, and the patient-physician relationship.”
Ensuring the health and safety of Planned Parenthood patients is central to our mission. Planned Parenthood personnel constantly evaluate new research in the field, new recommendations from medical associations, new technologies, and feedback from patients, experts, and regulators to continue improving practices.
“We should rely on the American Medical Association and American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists to set medical standards, not extremists and politicians in Baton Rouge,”said Melissa Flournoy, PhD, Louisiana State Director of Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast. “It’s clear the intent of this legislation is to shut down health centers, which would have devastating consequences for women across Louisiana. That’s why Governor Jindal must veto this dangerous bill.”
Planned Parenthood is the nation’s leading provider and advocate of high-quality, affordable health care for women, men, and young people, as well as the nation’s largest provider of sex education. With more than 700 health centers across the country, Planned Parenthood organizations serve all patients with care and compassion, with respect and without judgment. Through health centers, programs in schools and communities, and online resources, Planned Parenthood is a trusted source of reliable health information that allows people to make informed health decisions. We do all this because we care passionately about helping people lead healthier lives.
Planned Parenthood Federation of America media office: 212-261-4433
May 21, 2014