Anti-abortion lawmakers in Louisiana may not have succeeded in passing a blanket abortion ban this year, but they did get a new bill signed into law this week designed to deter women from following through with the procedure.
The bill would require a website, as well as signs posted in abortion clinics, to inform women about abortion alternatives.
The signs would state that it is illegal for others to coerce women into getting an abortion; that public and private agencies can help them during and after pregnancy; that the father is liable for child support; and that adoptive parents may cover the medical costs of pregnancy.
Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) signed the bill into law at the First Baptist Church of West Monroe on Wednesday, noting that bill will lead fewer women to seek abortions, because “the more they know, the more they’ll choose life and alternatives to abortion.”
Of course, information about alternatives in and of itself isn’t the problem. It’s that the measure is explicitly aimed at deterring women from seeking an abortion—not about allowing her to consider all her options. Jindal’s statements likening women to criminals, also reported in the News Star, didn’t really help matters:
Jindal said he couldn’t understand why anyone would be opposed to such a law considering even criminals receive the same privilege.
“When officers arrest criminals today, they are read their rights,” he said. “Now if we’re giving criminals their basic rights and they have to be informed of those rights, it seems to me only common sense we would have to do the same thing for women before they make the choice about whether to get an abortion.”
Of course, this is still a less outrageous bill than the other one proposed in the state this year that would have actually made it a crime for a woman to obtain an abortion.