Number: HB 388
Status: Blocked/EnjoinedProposed: February 25, 2014 Enacted: June 12, 2014
Topics: Informed Consent, Medication Abortion, Omnibus (multiple topics), Physicians Reporting Requirements, Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers, Telemedicine Abortion Bans, Waiting Periods and Forced Counseling
Last updated Mar 31, 2015.
HB 388 is an omnibus abortion bill that amends existing law and contains multiple abortion restrictions, including: (1) admitting privileges requirement; (2) informed consent requirements; (3) restrictions on medication abortion; (4) telemedicine ban; and (5) physician reporting requirements.
HB 388 requires that physicians have admitting privileges at a hospital that is located no more than 30 miles from where the abortion was performed and that provides OB-GYN services.
The bill also requires physicians to provide pregnant woman with a telephone number by which a physician or health-care professional employed by the abortion provider facility can be reached 24 hours a day for assistance with complications, and the telephone number of the closest hospital in case of emergency.
A violation of the law could result in a four thousand dollar fine per violation.
Medication Abortion/Informed Consent Requirements
HB 388 would prohibit the administration of any abortion-inducing drug without voluntary and informed consent under Louisiana’s Women’s Right to Know Act, which requires the physician who is to perform the abortion to inform the woman orally and in person of specified information and to perform an ultrasound at least 24 hours prior to the abortion.
Existing law already bans telemedicine by requiring the physician to be in the same room as the patient when prescribing or administering medication abortion drugs.
Medication Abortion/Reporting Requirements
The bill requires physicians to report medical abortions to the Department of Health and Hospitals. In addition, if the physician knows that the woman experienced a serious event, the physician has to report it to the FDA through the MedWatch Reporting System not later than the third day after the date the physician learns of the occurrence.
Redefines “Outpatient Abortion Facility”
The bill also redefines outpatient abortion facility in order to reduce the number of abortions a doctor must perform in a given year to be considered an abortion provider. Previously, a doctor would have had to perform any second trimester abortion or 5 or more first trimester abortions per month. Under current law, it’s any second trimester abortion or 5 or more first trimester abortions per year.
This bill has passed the House on May 22 and the Senate on May 26. Gov. Bobby Jindal signed the bill into law on June 12, 2014. It is slated to go into effect on September 1, 2014.
In August 2014, a federal district court judge blocked enforcement of the law, but allowed the law to go into effect while abortion providers sought admitting privileges. (See June Medical Services v. Caldwell.)