Women in Louisiana may lose access to abortion services if the state passes a new law enacting a secretive overhaul of its clinic regulations.
According to DC bureau reporter Zoë Carpenter, “The requirements are so stringent that not one of the five clinics currently operating in Louisiana would meet them, according to a lawyer advising the clinics. The new regulatory framework would also impose a de facto 30-day waiting period for many women — an exceptional requirement.”
“The way the [Department of Health and Hospitals] went about passing these regulations was in a secretive and undemocratic way. The public definitely doesn’t know what’s going on,” she said.
According to Schilling, the law gives the agency the ability to shut down every existing clinic in Louisiana immediately by imposing new space requirements that none of the existing clinics meets. Providers would lose some of their rights to appeal noncompliance citations, while new and complex documentation and staffing requirements create more opportunities for DHH to cite clinics for deficiencies. “Deficiencies are used to create this impression of clinics being repeat offenders, and that’s a basis for revoking their license,” explained Schilling.