In Louisiana, abortion clinics will now be required to display certain signage, informing women about alternatives to abortion. This is due to new legislation, signed earlier this week by Gov. Bobby Jindal, which is clearly designed to deter women from exercising their right to an abortion. Jindal admitted as much when he signed the bill into law in front of a Baptist church in northeastern Louisiana.
“Women deserve to know their legal rights and the protections already afforded to them under the law,” he said. “We are confident that the more they know, the more they’ll choose life and alternatives to abortion.”
For Jindal, it seems unthinkable that women who already do know their “legal rights and protections” might still choose abortion. Far from providing a fair spread of options, ranging from abortion to adoption, from which women could choose, the signage pushes women toward adoption.
According to the Monroe Star-Ledger, the law requires that ”signs be posted around abortion facilities and include pertinent information about a woman’s rights, including the fact that it is illegal to coerce a woman into getting an abortion, that the child’s father must provide child support, that certain agencies can assist them during and after the pregnancy and that adoptive parents can pay some of the medical costs.”
Physicians are also required to give women the link to a website, featuring information about informed consent and abortion alternatives.
It would seem preposterous if, in the name of providing women with “options,” a state required adoption agencies to post information about abortion around their facilities. But, considering that Louisiana legislators apparently consider women seeking abortions to be comparable to “criminals,” it makes sense that this new law would treat them this way. Jindal, as he was signing the law, explained that he simply didn’t understand why anyone would oppose such a law.
“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.”
Jindal, of course, is forgetting that abortion is a legally protected measure, upheld by the Supreme Court. But clearly, he has decided that his own opinions on abortion’s morality trump that high court’s decision. He explained his commitment to “creating a culture of life,” adding, “we’ve got to fight to defend the lives of the most innocent and most vulnerable among us, especially unborn children.”
As Igor Volsky points out on Think Progress, Louisiana already has some of the harshest anti-choice legislation in the country. Naturally, the state also mandates abstinence-only-until-marriage sex education in its schools (when sex education is offered – such classes are not required), so preventing unplanned pregnancies does not seem to be high on Jindal’s list of priorities, only punishing women afterward.
So there you have it: according to Jindal and Louisiana’s legislators, creating a “culture of life” means treating the state’s women like criminals.
Read more: abortion alternatives, abortion clinics, adoption, anti choice, anti-abortion, bobby jindal, louisiana, pro-choice, pro-life, reproductive justice, reproductive rights, sex-education, war_on_women
Photo from dsb nola via Wikimedia Commons.
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