- Associated Press - Thursday, May 19, 2016

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Gov. John Bel Edwards has signed legislation that will force women in Louisiana to wait 72 hours before getting an abortion.

Five other states have similar waits, the longest in the country.

A woman in Louisiana currently has to wait 24 hours from the time she consults with a doctor and gets a mandatory ultrasound until getting an abortion. On Aug. 1, the wait will grow to three days.

The 24-hour wait time will continue only for women who live 150 miles or more from the nearest abortion clinic.

Supporters say tripling the wait gives women more time to weigh alternatives. Opponents say it creates an undue burden to a legal medical procedure and likely will face a court challenge.

Edwards signed the bill Thursday, along with a second measure that will toughen the criteria for doctors who perform abortions. They will be required to be either board certified or certifiable in obstetrics and gynecology, or family medicine.

That new restriction also takes effect Aug. 1.

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House Bill 386: www.legis.la.gov


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