Louisiana officials drop "emergency" abortion regulations that would have shuttered clinics across the state

A previous version of the regulations included a 30-day waiting period for women seeking abortion

By Katie McDonough

Published February 4, 2014 3:48PM (EST)

  (Reuters/Stephen Lam)
(Reuters/Stephen Lam)

The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals has dropped a series of "emergency" regulations around abortion providers that would have shuttered many of the clinics in the state.

As Andrea Grimes at RH Reality Check reports, the announcement came less than 24 hours before a public hearing on the new rules.

“The Department of Health and Hospitals (DHH) is rescinding its November 2013 emergency rule for outpatient abortion facilities licensing standards,” spokesperson Olivia Watkins said in a statement on the decision. “The Department will reissue a revised rule and notice of intent at a later date.”

Like similar measures passed by lawmakers in Texas and elsewhere, the DHH regulations would have shuttered clinics through a series of arbitrary requirements about paperwork and the size of the facilities. A previous version of the regulations included a mandatory blood test that would have imposed a 30-day waiting period for women seeking an abortion.

Reproductive justice advocates from across the state had gathered in Baton Rouge for the Tuesday hearing, and are now planning a rally to celebrate the DHH announcement.

“DHH tried to derail this movement by canceling the hearing late in the evening,” said New Orleans Abortion Fund board member Amy Irvin in a press release. “NOAF will continue to hold DHH and all Louisiana officials accountable for transparent, democratic proceedings that are done in good faith.”


Katie McDonough

Katie McDonough is Salon's politics writer, focusing on gender, sexuality and reproductive justice. Follow her on Twitter @kmcdonovgh or email her at kmcdonough@salon.com.

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