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Louisiana’s Abortion Law Sows Confusion and Fear


A spokeswoman for Woman’s Hospital in Baton Rouge, where Ms. Davis received prenatal care, said the hospital couldn’t comment on individual cases. Regarding the state’s abortions bans, the spokeswoman, Caroline Isemann, said “we must have a look at each patient’s individual circumstances and remain in compliance with all current state laws to the most effective of our ability.”

Ms. Davis, 36, who’s now just a little over 13 weeks pregnant, and her partner were struggling to know their options, said Ms. Davis’s brother-in-law, LaMont Cole, a city councilman in Baton Rouge, La. On Friday, he said they’d hired Ben Crump, a lawyer who has represented families affected by police violence. Mr. Crump said in a press release on Friday that Ms. Davis would travel to a different state to get an abortion and was starting a GoFundMe account to cover the price. But a drive to Florida, which could be the closest state to get the procedure, could be difficult for Ms. Davis, a stay-at-home mother to 2 teenagers and a toddler, while also working as a content creator showcasing Black hairstyles.

“No matter what Louisiana lawmakers claim, the law is having its intended effect, causing doctors to refuse to perform abortions even once they are medically needed out of fear of losing their medical licenses or facing criminal charges,” Mr. Crump said within the statement.

For the reason that Supreme Court’s ruling in June, doctors, patients and state officials across the country have scrambled to navigate the brand new abortion bans and particularly, they are saying, the murkiness surrounding exemptions. Complicating matters is a patchwork of recent laws that is usually temporarily suspended due to legal fights.

Greater than a dozen states ban abortion from conception or inside the first several weeks of pregnancy. Most of those bans include narrow exceptions to save lots of the lifetime of the pregnant woman, or allow abortion in cases where the fetus has a fatal medical condition. But interpreting those exceptions properly is an emerging issue for doctors and hospitals, who fear hefty fines and prison sentences in the event that they get it mistaken.

That has made some hospitals reluctant to treat miscarriages with procedures also commonly utilized in abortions. Other hospitals have created special groups of doctors and lawyers to assist interpret latest laws and judge when a pregnancy may be legally terminated. Some states require two doctors to log off on an abortion that meets the legal standard.

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