Abortion bill take step closer to becoming law

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - A bill that would increase restrictions on doctors who perform abortions at clinics throughout the state is heading to Governor Bobby Jindal's office after getting majority support in the House Wednesday.

State Representative Regina Barrow co-authored the bill that requires licensed physicians who perform abortions to have admitting privileges or be affiliated with a hospital that is no more than 30 miles from where the procedure is conducted.

"For me this is certainly a safety issue. I do believe that it is very important if a complication arises that there's quick access to a hospital. I think that is very important. This is a major procedure," said Barrow.

Opponents of the bill say it will force abortion clinics throughout the state to shut their doors and add that less than one percent of all abortions require additional care because of complications. In a letter the Center for Reproductive Rights urged Louisiana residents to contact Governor Jindal.

"HB 388 is a direct threat to women's health and safety. It could close safe and reputable abortion providers and you don't improve women's health and safety by denying them access to abortion," read the statement.

Barrow disagrees and says the bill does not limit access to abortion and will not force clinics to close, but rather makes sure the women who choose that avenue are protected.

"I believe at the end of the day they have to be insured and as long as they're insured I believe the hospitals that are in those vicinities will allow that to happen. We can't say now. I think it's premature, but at the end of the day that may have been a scare tactic," said Barrow.

On Wednesday Jindal voiced support for the bill on Twitter and said he has every intention of signing into law.

Copyright 2014 WAFB. All rights reserved.