Bobby Jindal Backed Education Bills Near The Final Bell In Louisiana Legislature Loading... NOLA.com You are signed in as Loading... Edit Public Profile Sign Out The Times-Picayune Newsletters RSS Feeds Mobile Apps >Louisiana anti-abortion bill awaits Bobby Jindal's signature, likely to shutter most clinics Posted on May 21, 2014 at 2:22 PM reproductive bills 6 Gallery: reproductive bills By Emily Lane, NOLA.com email@example.com A >bill that could result in the shuttering of up to four of Louisiana's five abortion clinics overwhelmingly received full passage from the Louisiana Legislature Wednesday (May 21), and Gov. Bobby Jindal has indicated he will sign it into law. The legislation is, in part, based on a similar measure passed in Texas last year and led to the closing of several abortion clinics in that state. In its last legislative hurdle, the House concurred an amendment on Wednesday (May 21) that was added to the bill on the Senate side. The bill's sponsor, Rep. Katrina Jackson, D-Monroe, asked for final passage of the bill to much fanfare, as dozens of lawmakers who signed on as "co-authors" swarmed the podium to stand behind her. The House voted 88-5 to send the bill to Jindal's desk. Jindal, who included the legislation in a package of bills he officially backed, tweeted from his official Twitter account about an hour after the bill passed that he would sign it. Looking forward to signing HB 388 by @Repkjackson. This bill will give women the health and safety protections they deserve. -- Gov. Bobby Jindal (@BobbyJindal) May 21, 2014 The legislation 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. Abortion clinic providers have indicated they will likely not be able to comply with the law, which some supporters have acknowledged as they noted their goal is to reduce abortions in Louisiana. The bill's supporters, as well as Department of Health and Hospitals Secretary Kathy Kliebert, have said the bill is about protecting women's health. Opponents say requiring admittance privileges is medically unnecessary and merely a tactic to take away Louisiana women's constitutional right to safe and legal abortion. New Orleans Abortion fund co-founder Amy Irvin said while supporters of the bill think reducing access will reduce abortions, desperate women will instead turn to other means through illegal or unsafe methods. The new restrictions, she said, are actually "forcing people into the shadows" to get back alley abortions reminiscent of pre-Roe vs. Wade days when emergency rooms were inundated complications from self-inflicted or illegally performed procedures. Just prior to the House vote on the measure, Rep. Frank Hoffman, R-West Monroe, noted his pride that Louisiana for three years has been given the label of the "most pro-life" state. The bill had more than 50 coauthors -- a symbolic show of support. Despite the near inevitable signing of the bill into law, Planned Parenthood's national president called on the governor to veto it. "We all want to protect women's health and safety -- this bill doesn't do that," said Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. A release sent by the organization, which provides services for and advocates for reproductive rights but does not perform abortions in Louisiana, quoted the American Medical Association's opposition to the bill and others like it in Texas, Mississippi, Alabama and Wisconsin. "There is no medical basis to require abortion providers to have local hospital admitting privileges. Emergency room physicians, hospital-based physicians, and on-call specialists already provide prompt and effective treatment to all patients with urgent medical needs, including women with abortion-related complications... Unless there is a substantial public health justification, legislators should not interfere with patient care, medical decisions, and the patient-physician relationship." Ellie Schilling, a New Orleans lawyers who advises Louisiana abortion clinics, said one physician at one of the clinics -- in Shreveport -- has admitting privileges that allow the clinic to comply with the law. While it's been widely reported that the new measures could shutter three clinics in Baton Rouge, Metairie and New Orleans, the clinic in Bossier City must still work to comply. "Given the political climate the hospitals face, it's unlikely that most of the clinics will be able to comply," she said. "The exact number remains to be seen." Hospitals who are otherwise be neutral on the issue may have an incentive to deny privileges because of political pressure "from the top-down," Schilling said. "The Jindal administration (has) an extreme sort of anti-choice agenda." It's also unclear at what point the clinics will have to shut down, though a constitutional challenge -- likely a single lawsuit brought by all of the clinics -- is imminent. Some of the physicians and clinic administrators who are unable to comply with the hospital agreement requirement may choose to shut down when the law becomes effective Sept. 1 to avoid noncompliance. Others, she said, may operate as long as possible until the Department of Health and Hospitals triggers the process for determining noncompliance. Also at issue is whether the clinics will be legally allowed or not to continue operating as litigation pends. In Texas, clinics shut down immediately as the court mulled the issue. But the clinic in Mississippi has been able to keep its doors open while litigation is pending after being granted injunctive relief. While a panel of judges from the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals located in New Orleans upheld the constitutionality of the Texas law that provided the blueprint for Jackson's bill, Schilling said it's not a foregone conclusion that Louisiana's will hold up in court. "Whether there's an undue burden to Louisiana women has nothing to do with the facts of the Texas case," she said. The number of clinics, the travel distance and the cost to residents seeking legal abortions all contribute to a "fact-specific" analysis of the law that could be "entirely different" from how the Texas law applies that state's residents. For example, the fact that Mississippi has only one clinic, located in Jackson, likely played into the court's decision to grant it injunctive relief to stay open while litigation pends. Texas, however, had about 25 clinics before the law shut down at least a third of them. Louisiana, on the other hand, has just five clinics. "On the whole 5th circuit spectrum, Louisiana is gong to be in the middle, between Mississippi and Texas." House members voting against the final concurrence -- all Democrats, the majority of whom are from the New Orleans area -- were Reps. Helena Moreno, D-New Orleans; Walt Leger, D-New Orleans; Ebony Woodruff, D-Harvey; Marcus Hunter, D-Monroe; and Herbert Dixon, D-Alexandria. The 11 representatives who didn't cast a vote -- two of which were Republicans -- were Reps. Neil Abramson, D-New Orleans; James Armes, D-Leesville; A.B. Franklin, D-Lake Charles; Randal Gains, D-LaPlace; Ted James, D-Baton Rouge; Chris Leopold, R-Belle Chasse; Joe Lopinto, R-Metairie; Jack Montoucet, D-Crowley; Barbara Norton, D-Shreveport; Ed Price, D-Gonzales; and Pat Smith, D-Baton Rouge. Advocates on both sides of the abortion debate either celebrated or bemoaned passage of House Bill 388 at the Louisiana State Capitol since most were already there to testify on behalf of three reproductive-related bills debated during a committee hearing Wednesday morning. All three bills were backed by anti-abortion advocates and opposed by abortion rights advocates. Each was approved by the committee without any objection, despite testimony from multiple witnesses against all three. Those three bills, Schilling said, as well as the one that will shutter clinics, "severely restrict women's ability to care for their own bodies and make choices right for them and their families." . . . . . . Emily Lane is a news reporter based in Baton Rouge. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 504-717-7699. You can also keep up with all her local updates on Twitter (@emilymlane) and through NOLA.com Baton Rouge on Facebook.