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Louisiana governor signs abortion restrictions into law

[JURIST] Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal [official website] on Thursday signed into law [press release] two bills dealing with abortion. HB 388 [materials] requires doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital. Opponents claim that this law will force three of the state's five abortion clinics to close [Reuters report]. HB 305 [materials] bars abortion providers from instructing or distributing materials in state-funded schools. Upon signing the bills, Jindal said, "I am proud to sign these bills because they will help us continue to protect women and the life of the unborn in our state. These new laws will give women the health and safety protections they deserve, and continue to make Louisiana a state that values individual human life."

Reproductive rights [JURIST backgrounder] and abortion [JURIST news archive] remain highly contested issues across the US, with legislators introducing 733 provisions [Guttmacher Institute report] related to sexual and reproductive health and rights in the first quarter of 2014. Last month Oklahoma's governor signed a similar bill [JURIST report] requiring abortion providers to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals. Earlier in May Missouri lawmakers [JURIST report] approved a bill to extend the waiting period for an abortion from 24 to 72 hours. In a recent article JURIST Guest Columnist LaJuana Davis of the Cumberland School of Law evaluated [JURIST op-ed] the implications of legislative efforts in Alabama and other states to restrict access to abortions. In April the Florida Senate [JURIST report] approved a bill that would prevent most abortions after the fetus reaches viability.

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