June 13, 2014
WASHINGTON—Today, Kathy Ko Chin, president and CEO of Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum (APIAHF) released the following statement in reaction to further restrictions on abortion access signed into law by Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal.
“These laws pose unacceptable barriers to women’s health, blatantly restricting access to the care they need,” said Ko Chin. “Rather than shuttering the doors of clinics and providers, we should be opening up affordable and accessible comprehensive reproductive care for everyone.”
Governor Jindal signed House Bills 388 and 305, which add requirements to doctors who provide abortions, and prohibit providers and their affiliates from distributing any health-related information at schools, respectively. The laws impose burdensome and unnecessary regulations by requiring doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles that also offers obstetric or gynecological health services. This could close at least three of Louisiana’s five abortion clinics. Clinic closures stand to impact women who are most vulnerable—low-income women living in areas where there is already a provider shortage. Currently, Alabama, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas have similar laws. In Texas, 19 of the 33 abortion clinics in the state have closed, and Mississippi’s only clinic could potentially close as a result of the State’s law.
Furthermore, doctors who perform more than five abortions a year must pass the same inspections required of abortion clinics, which is a drastic change from the current 60-abortion prerequisite. Women needing the abortion pill will also be required to undergo the same ultrasound obligations and the 24-hour waiting period as those who are having surgical abortions.
APIAHF is committed to promoting and protecting the health of all Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders in the United States and its jurisdictions and opposes limits on comprehensive reproductive care. Louisiana’s laws put quality, comprehensive health care even further out of reach for the communities we serve.