1. The Louisiana House voted yesterday in favor of a bill that "requires physicians who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the facility or medical office where it took place. It also imposes the same restrictions -- including a 24-hour waiting period -- on abortions induced by medication as those carried out through surgery." This means that at least three, perhaps four, of the remaining five family planning clinics that provide abortions will be forced to close, leaving only one in Shreveport, in the northwest corner of the state. There will not be an abortion provider in New Orleans or Baton Rouge.
The vote was 88-5. Think about how overwhelming that vote is, how gut-wrenchingly overwhelming and pathetically regressive. The bill has already passed the state Senate, and Gov. Bobby "These Flames of Presidential Ambition Ain't Gonna Fan Themselves" Jindal tweeted that he will sign it.
2. The Louisiana Senate Health and Welfare Committee advanced three bills. The first would prohibit "abortion providers and their affiliates from speaking in public or charter schools on health issues." It's part of a continued assault on sex education in the state because why would you want your sex ed teacher to be someone who deals with the consequences of STDs and unwanted pregnancy? The target of the bill is Planned Parenthood and their Satan-trained instructors. By the way, Louisiana has one of the highest teen pregnancy rates in the nation.
The other two bills: One would force hospitals to keep pregnant women on life support, no matter what her family says. The other would force the one or two remaining abortion clinics to hand out a pamphlet on the "psychological effects" of abortion. The psychological effects of forcing a family to watch as a brain-dead woman they love is turned into an incubator are not covered by the bill.
3. The House Health and Welfare Committee, ignoring its name, voted down a bill to accept Medicaid expansion funds in order to get health care to the 250,000 adults who would qualify for it. The Senate committee had already killed its version of the bill. Confronted with the story of a homeless woman who might have lived had she been able to get coverage, Sen. Dan Claitor, a Republican, moved to kill the bill, saying, yeah, "We can do better...I disagree that this is the answer." That was a month ago. He has not offered an alternative.
4. The House voted down a bill that would have allowed the state Department of Education to survey teenagers about sexual practices and knowledge. It's part of a larger CDC survey to help determine policy towards the nation's youth. Said one Republican legislator, "Won’t we desensitize children when asking them about sexual activity?" The only question that Louisiana will allow its tender students to be asked is whether or not they learned about HIV and AIDS in school. 25% said that they had not, which is way above the 16% national average.
5. That might be because sex ed is optional for Louisiana students. Yeah, a bill making it mandatory was killed in committee last week.
Why bother? Why not let them have the Rude Pundit's Louisiana public school sex education? That was when our nervous high school biology teacher shut the classroom door and said, "Okay, I'm not supposed to teach you this - I could lose my job - but you need to know it" before spending approximately one hour teaching 15 and 16 year-olds the birds and the bees. Tee-hee. It felt so dirty and forbidden.
By senior year, half a dozen young women were pregnant. They dropped out of school. Obviously, that one hour of sex ed had turned them into whores. Surely, it had nothing to do with the fact that all they ever heard in church was how contraception and abortion make Jesus weep bloody tears.
It's so goddamned depressing that things have actually moved backwards for women in Louisiana from where it was a couple of decades ago.