Louisiana could become the next state to require women wait three days after first consulting with a doctor before having an abortion — one of the nation’s longest waiting periods.
It now heads to the Senate for consideration.
“We’re very proud that Louisiana has been the most pro-life state for many years, but this isn’t about rankings,” said House Health and Welfare Committee Chairman Frank Hoffmann, a West Monroe Republican sponsoring the bill. “It’s not just the life of the mother but the life of the unborn child will be affected by the mother’s decision.”
There were no comments from opponents, no questions and no proposed amendments to the bill before it won approval in an 89-5 vote.
Five other states — Missouri, Oklahoma, North Carolina, South Dakota and Utah — already require the 72-hour wait, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. No states require a longer wait time.
Abortion rights groups generally oppose the mandatory waiting periods and argue such restrictions create hurdles that disproportionately affect poor women and those from rural areas.
Louisiana’s 72-hour bill would not apply to women who live 150 miles from the nearest clinic, but they would be required to wait 24 hours.
Another bill that was approved separately, but in a similarly quick fashion, in the House on Wednesday would require that abortions only be provided by or under the direct supervision of doctors who are board certified in obstetrics and gynecology or family medicine.
House Bill 488 also heads to the Senate for approval.