House health committee backs new abortion rules

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BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) – A proposal to add new regulations for abortion providers in Louisiana has received the unanimous support of the House health care committee.

The bill by Rep. Katrina Jackson, a Democrat from Monroe, would require doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital. It's similar to a controversial restriction recently passed in Texas.

Jackson says the proposal would enact “common-sense safety standards” to protect women's health.

Abortion rights supporters say if lawmakers pass the new requirement, it would force the closure of three of Louisiana's five abortion clinics – and leave none open south of Shreveport.

The House Health and Welfare Committee advanced the proposal Wednesday without objection. It heads next to the House floor for debate.

House Bill 388 can be found at http://www.legis.la.gov

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