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72-hour waiting period overwhelmingly passes Louisiana House

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On Wednesday, the Louisiana House voted 85-9 to pass legislation tripling the state’s waiting period for abortion from one to three days, and 87-0 to require abortionists to have board certification or be certifiable in obstetrics and gynecology or family medicine.

The wait bill, introduced by Republican Representative Frank Hoffmann, makes an exception for women whose nearest abortion facility is 150 miles away, for whom the 24-hour wait would still be in effect. “It can certainly help prevent against later regret,” he said. “It’s the life of the unborn child that will be affected by the decision.”

Under the second bill, introduced by Democrat Representative Katrina Jackson, OB/GYN or family medicine students could perform abortions only under the direct supervision of a board-certified abortionist.

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Governor John Bel Edwards, a Democrat who identifies as pro-life despite some concerns by state pro-lifers, supports the waiting period, which must still be approved by the state Senate. Louisiana would become the sixth state to require women to wait three days before obtaining abortions.

Abortion advocates oppose waiting periods by claiming they constitute undue burdens on access to abortion. However, in Planned Parenthood v. Casey, the Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of 24-hour waiting periods as “rationally further[ing] the State’s legitimate interest in maternal health and in unborn life.”

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