Louisiana will become the sixth state to make women wait three days before they can get an abortion.
Gov. John Bel Edwards, a Democrat, signed House Bill 386 into law on Thursday to extend the waiting period from 24 hours to 72 from first consulting with a doctor before an abortion can be performed. The new law takes effect Aug. 1.
Anti-abortion activists hailed the extended waiting time as a “victory for women in Louisiana.”
“This important bill empowers women considering abortion with additional reflection time before an abortion so they can consider their options more effectively,” Louisiana Right to Life Legislative Director Deanna Wallace said in a statement. “Since abortion facilities in Louisiana are only in the business of selling abortion, this reflection period allows for further consideration of other choices, including adoption and parenting.”
As the bill weaved its way through the State Capitol, abortion-rights advocates described the effort as “condescending” and argued that it will create hurdles for women who have already made up their minds but have work or family commitments that may be disrupted by the three-day delay.
Now, we don’t need to go overboard with our praise of the governor in signing the bill. It passed the Senate with a 34-4 vote and it passed in the House 83-0. There were more than enough votes to override a veto if he’d wanted to offer one. His signing the bill was little more than a recognition of the obvious.
But that said, Edwards ran on his being pro-life and even did a commercial about how he refused to consider an abortion when he and his wife found out their daughter would be born with a physical defect that medical science later cured. And despite a few shaky actions along the way, like hiring a NARAL All-Star in Rebekah Gee as his Health and Hospitals secretary, he can point to this as proof that he really is pro-life.
For now, at least. And we probably ought to refrain from looking a gift horse in the mouth where this governor is concerned.