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      RS 40:1061.16     

  

§1061.16. Information on psychological impacts, illegal coercion, abuse, and human trafficking required prior to abortion; task force on information resources

            A. The legislature hereby declares that women of this state have a right to know that undergoing an abortion may have serious psychological impacts, including severe emotional distress and mental and behavioral health afflictions.

            B.(1) Except as provided in Paragraph (2) of this Subsection, at least seventy-two hours prior to undergoing an elective abortion as defined in R.S. 40:1061.9, and as a condition for consent to the abortion to be deemed voluntary and informed, the woman or minor female considering abortion shall be given a copy of the printed materials described in this Section by the physician who is to perform the abortion or a qualified person as defined in R.S. 40:1061.17(B)(4)(c), except in the case of medical emergency as provided in R.S. 40:1061.23.

            (2) If the woman or minor female considering abortion certifies in writing that she currently lives one hundred fifty miles or more from the nearest licensed outpatient abortion facility to her residence, then she shall be given a copy of the printed materials described in this Section at least twenty-four hours prior to an elective abortion procedure by the physician who is to perform the abortion or a qualified person as defined in R.S. 40:1061.17(B)(4)(c), except in the case of medical emergency as provided in R.S. 40:1061.23.

            C.(1) The physician or qualified person shall provide to the woman or minor female seeking an abortion the printed materials required by this Section individually and in a private room for the purpose of ensuring that she has an adequate opportunity to ask questions and discuss her individual circumstances.

            (2) The physician or qualified person shall obtain the signature of the woman or minor female seeking an abortion on a form certifying that the printed materials were given to the woman or minor female.

            (3) In the case of a minor female considering an abortion, if a parent accompanies the minor female to the appointment with the physician or qualified person described in Subsection B of this Section, then the physician or qualified person shall provide to the parent copies of the materials given to the female in accordance with Paragraph (1) of this Subsection.

            (4) The signed certification form provided for in Paragraph (2) of this Subsection shall be kept within the medical record of the woman or minor female upon whom the abortion procedure was performed for a period of at least seven years.

            D. The department shall create printed materials and printable Internet-based resources that provide all of the following:

            (1)(a) Information, telephone numbers, and links to Internet websites of nonprofit organizations that offer free and confidential access to mental health professionals, social workers, and other trained counselors who serve women and minor females who may experience psychological distress or other mental, emotional, or behavioral health afflictions prior to undergoing an abortion.

            (b) The department shall take such actions as are necessary to ensure that any mental or behavioral health professional or other counselor to whom a woman or minor female may be referred through the organizations listed in the materials developed pursuant to this Paragraph meets all of the following criteria:

            (i) Provides counseling services that objectively address the mental, emotional, and behavioral health effects that may occur prior to an abortion.

            (ii) Is not affiliated with an abortion provider.

            (2)(a) Information, telephone numbers, and links to Internet websites of nonprofit organizations that offer free and confidential access to mental health professionals, social workers, and other trained counselors who serve women and minor females who may experience psychological distress or other mental, emotional, or behavioral health afflictions after undergoing an abortion.

            (b) The department shall take such actions as are necessary to ensure that any mental or behavioral health professional or other counselor to whom a woman or minor female may be referred through the organizations listed in the materials developed pursuant to this Paragraph meets all of the following criteria:

            (i) Provides counseling services that objectively address the mental, emotional, and behavioral health effects that may result from undergoing the abortion procedure.

            (ii) Is not affiliated with an abortion provider.

            (3)(a) Information, telephone numbers, and links to Internet websites of nonprofit organizations that offer free and confidential access to mental health professionals, social workers, and other trained counselors who are trained in counseling women and minor females who experience coercion to obtain an abortion concerning the psychological impacts or other mental, emotional, or behavioral health afflictions that may result from experiencing coercion to obtain an abortion.

            (b) The department shall take such actions as are necessary to ensure that any mental or behavioral health professional or other counselor to whom a woman or minor female may be referred through the organizations listed in the materials developed pursuant to this Paragraph meets all of the following criteria:

            (i) Provides counseling services that objectively address the mental, emotional, and behavioral health effects that may result from experiencing coercion to obtain an abortion.

            (ii) Is not affiliated with an abortion provider.

            (c) The materials developed pursuant to this Paragraph shall clearly indicate that coerced abortion is defined in Louisiana law, Children's Code Article 603, as a form of abuse that seriously endangers the physical, mental, and emotional health and safety of a child.

            (4)(a) Information, telephone numbers, and links to Internet websites of nonprofit organizations that offer free and confidential access to mental health professionals, social workers, and other trained counselors for women and minor females who are victims of the crime of human trafficking or the crime of trafficking of children for sexual purposes.

            (b) The department shall take such actions as are necessary to ensure that any mental or behavioral health professional or other counselor to whom a woman or minor female may be referred through the organizations listed in the materials developed pursuant to this Paragraph meets all of the following criteria:

            (i) Provides counseling services that objectively address the mental, emotional, and behavioral health effects that may result from being a victim of human trafficking or a victim of trafficking of children for sexual purposes.

            (ii) Is not affiliated with an abortion provider.

            (c) The materials developed pursuant to this Paragraph shall clearly indicate all of the following:

            (i) That victims of trafficking can be safe after their rescue from being trafficked.

            (ii) That Louisiana provides for assistance to victims of human trafficking, as required by R.S. 46:2162 et seq.

            (iii) That there are public and private agencies providing valuable assistance to women and minor females who have been commercially and sexually exploited; and that help available to victims of trafficking and other exploitation includes housing assistance, education, job training, and drug addiction counseling.

            (iv) That legal assistance is available to women and minor females seeking to escape the sex trade, including assistance in vacating prior prostitution convictions.

            (v) That the crime of trafficking of children for sexual purposes is subject to the mandatory reporting laws set forth in Children's Code Articles 603, 609, and 610.

            (d) Any pamphlet developed pursuant to this Paragraph shall be known as the "Point of Rescue" pamphlet.

            E. The materials provided for in Subsection D of this Section shall be printed in a typeface large enough to be clearly legible and shall be available at no cost from the department upon request and in appropriate number to any person, facility, or hospital. The department's website shall contain the content of the printed material, a printable electronic image of the printed material, and information on ordering printed materials. The department shall promulgate rules and regulations relative to the methods of distribution of printed materials.

            F. The governor shall convene a task force to assist the Louisiana Department of Health in the preparation of the printed and Internet materials provided for in this Section. The task force shall be comprised of the following members:

            (1) One psychologist licensed by the Louisiana State Board of Examiners of Psychologists.

            (2) One physician who is board certified as a psychiatrist and licensed by the Louisiana State Board of Medical Examiners.

            (3) One licensed clinical social worker licensed by the Louisiana State Board of Social Work Examiners.

            (4) Two Louisiana residents who provide pre-abortion or post-abortion counseling in association with a nonprofit organization that does not counsel for or provide abortion.

            (5) Two attorneys licensed in Louisiana who specialize in advocacy for women and minor females who are at risk of being coerced into or psychologically harmed by abortion.

            (6) The executive director of the Louisiana Human Trafficking Task Force.

            (7) The executive director and the residential director of a residential program for women who have been commercially and sexually exploited.

            (8) Two members of the Senate appointed by the president.

            (9) Two members of the House of Representatives appointed by the speaker.

            (10) The secretary of the Louisiana Department of Health, who shall serve as the chairperson of the task force.

            G. Nothing in this Section shall be construed to conflict with or supercede the requirement for mandatory reporting of child abuse provided in Children's Code Article 603 et seq.

            Acts 2014, No. 569, §2, special eff. date; Redesignated from R.S. 40:1299.35.5.2 by HCR 84 of 2015 R.S.; Acts 2016, No. 97, §1.

NOTE: See Acts 2014, No. 569, §3, regarding effectiveness.



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