Louisiana Governor Signs Legislation Banning Common Abortion Procedure

On June 1, 2016, Gov. John Bel Edwards signed a bill into law that bans the second-trimester abortion procedure known as “dilation and evacuation.”  This makes Louisiana the sixth state to prohibit this abortion method.  Under the new law, called the “Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act,” the procedure will only be allowed if necessary to prevent “serious health risk” to the mother.  The law takes effect on August 1, 2016.   Only the performing physician will be legally responsible and subject to penalties for violations of the ban.  The penalties could include loss of license to practice medicine and the possibility of a fine up to $1,000 and a prison sentence of up to two years.

It is unclear whether this law will stand up to a legal challenge.  A similar law was blocked by state courts in Kansas and Oklahoma as violating the state Bill of Rights and the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

See full text of the Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act here.

Written by: Catherine Moore

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