In signing anti-abortion bill, Louisiana gov. compares women to criminals

By Stephen C. Webster
Thursday, July 7, 2011 11:13 EDT
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Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal (R) signed a bill into law yesterday that requires women’s health clinics to post signage notifying patients of alternatives to abortion.

At the signing ceremony, Jindal said he was proud to help make his state one that supports a “culture of life,” adding that women will soon be treated similarly to criminals who are read their rights after an arrest.

“When officers arrest criminals today, they are read their rights,” he said, according to a report by Louisiana paper The News-Star. “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.”

The law was needed, according to anti-abortion activists, to prevent clinics from “coercing” women into terminating pregnancies. It also requires the creation of a website that would inform women of their rights.

Every year, over 10 million women die or sustain life-threatening injuries due to complications from pregnancy, according to the World Health Organization.

In the U.S., the number of women who die from pregnancy complications on an annual basis has doubled over the last 20 years, and a full one-third of pregnant American women will suffer from some form of complication, according to Amnesty International.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control shows that black women were most likely to die during pregnancy, with 32.7 deaths per 100,000 pregnancies recorded on average. For white women that number drops to 9.5 deaths per 100,000 pregnancies, largely split along the lines of income disparity and a lack of access to women’s health services, including abortion.

(H/T: Think Progress)

Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
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