- (Photo: Reuters/Sean Gardner)
Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal signed into law on Thursday two bills that would further regulate and restrict the abortion procedure.
"These new laws will help us foster a greater culture of life in Louisiana and ensure that we continue to protect the weakest and most vulnerable among us," said Jindal in a statement after signing SB 330 and SB 708 in Baton Rouge.
Benjamin Clapper, director of the Louisiana Right to Life federation, told The Christian Post that he was happy to see the bills become law.
"The legislation signed by Gov. Jindal further protects the lives of unborn children and women from an abortion industry that has a financial interest in women choosing abortion," said Clapper. "The real war on women is found in an industry that wants to disguise the emotional and physical risks of abortion in a so called liberating choice."
Introduced by Democratic State Senator Rick Ward III, Senate Bill 330 mandates that anyone who performs an abortion must be a licensed physician.
SB 330 was introduced in March and underwent the amending process before being voted on April 30. The Louisiana Senate voted 37 to 0 in favor of the bill and then sent it to the Louisiana House of Representatives.
In late May, the House voted 99 to 0 in favor of the bill and after being signed by the president of the Senate and the speaker of the House, it was sent to the desk of Jindal on June 1.
Senate Bill 708 was introduced by Democratic State Senator Sharon Weston Broome on April 3. The bill requires that a pregnant woman hear the fetal heartbeat and see ultrasound images of the fetus before undergoing an abortion unless she specifically opts out of doing so.
The bill also expanded the period between the time an ultrasound is shown and the abortion procedure from two hours to 24 hours.
SB 708 passed the State Senate on April 24 with 37 yeas to 4 nays. On May 30, it passed the House with 96 yeas and 1 nay.
While both bills become law on Aug. 1, SB 708 will not take effect until 60 days after that date due to the need for the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals to publish the forms required.
These are not the first pro-life bills that Jindal has signed into law. Since becoming governor, several pieces of legislation surrounding "life issues" have been made into law. Under Jindal, Louisiana mandated that a minor seeking an abortion have the consent of at least one parent and that no state funding could go to human cloning.
In its 2012 ranking of states on life issues like abortion and euthanasia, the Americans United for Life ranked Louisiana number No. 1 on the list.