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Louisiana

Refusal to Provide Medical Services

ABORTION REFUSAL CLAUSE

Louisiana allows certain individuals or entities to refuse to provide abortion services.

To whom does the refusal clause apply?  Physicians, nurses, students or other persons or corporations, workers or employees in any social service agency, or hospitals, clinics, or other facilities or institutions.

What does the refusal clause allow?  No physician, nurse, student, or other person or corporation may be held civilly or criminally liable or be discriminated against for refusing to recommend, counsel, perform, assist, or accommodate an abortion for any reason.  No social service agency employee or worker may be held civilly or criminally liable or be discriminated against for refusing to take part in, recommend, or counsel an abortion.

No hospital or facility of any kind may be held civilly or criminally liable or be discriminated against for refusing to permit or accommodate abortion.  No hospital or medical facility may be denied government assistance, be discriminated against, or be pressured in any way for refusing to permit its facilities, staff, or employees to be used in any way for the purpose of proving abortion services.

Does the law require the refusing individual or entity to notify the persons affected?  The law requires refusing individuals to notify the persons affected, but does not require refusing entities to notify the persons affected.

Are there circumstances under which a refusal clause may not be exercised?  Yes.  The refusal clause does not apply to medical emergency situations when individuals refuse to provide services.  In addition, the law specifies that individuals' refusals can only be exercised "to the extent that patient access to health care is not compromised."

Does the law require the refusing individual or entity to provide medically and factually accurate information or provide a referral for abortion services?  No.

Does the law provide a mechanism for women to otherwise obtain specific reproductive-health services, information, or referrals if an individual and/or entity exercises a refusal clause?  Possibly, in some circumstances.  The law stipulates that, in the event that an individual refuses to provide medical services, a health-care facility must have "sufficient staff to provide patient care."

La. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§ 40:1299.31 to .33 (Enacted 1973).  La. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§40:1299.35.9, 40:1300:301 (Enacted 2009).



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