72-hour abortion waiting period clears Louisiana legislature

On Tuesday, the Louisiana Senate voted 34-4 to extend the state’s 24-hour abortion waiting period to 72 hours.

As Live Action News reported last month, HB 386 passed the State House 85-9. It makes an exception for women whose nearest abortion facility is 150 miles away, for whom the one-day wait would apply instead.

The bill must now return to the House to fix minor typographical errors in the text, but the contents of the bill remain unaffected. The bill will soon go to Governor John Bel Edwards, a pro-life Democrat who is expected to sign it.


“It gives women more time to make this tremendously important decision,” Representative Frank Hoffman, the bills Republican sponsor, said. “It just gives them that additional two days.”

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.”

Multiple studies have found that mandatory waiting periods are effective at getting women to change their mind against abortion.

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