DHH rescinds emergency rules regarding abortions

Wednesday, February 5, 2014 - 10:06am

In November the department of health and hospitals released a set of emergency rules regarding outpatient abortions.

These included forcing women to wait 30 days after a blood test to have an abortion, and also changed the minimum size for procedure rooms.

That would have forced all of the existing abortion facilities in the state to close, including the Shreveport clinic, Hope Medical Center.

According to the emergency rules bulletin, DHH enacted the changes to ensure “the health and safety of women seeking health care services at licensed abortion facilities."

KMSS went to licensed doctor, Eileen Velez for clarification on these changes, asking if there was any medical need on why the changes were necessary. Her response was simply, "no, there aren't, just plain and simple."

Dr, Velez felt so strongly about the emergency rules, she wrote a letter to DHH opposing the changes. "As a physician and as a woman, I'm deeply offended because what they're saying to me is that I don't have the capability to make my own decisions regarding my body." Many others did as well, and a large turnout was expected for a public forum in Baton Rouge to discuss the changes.

Not even 24 hours before the meeting was scheduled to happen, DHH rescinded the emergency rules, stating this as the reason: "There were problems with the wording of the proposed rule changes included in the notice of intent. We withdrew the rules and the emergency rule in order to correct the language governing the licensure of outpatient abortion facilities before proceeding. We intend to issue a new set of proposed rules with a notice of intent in the future for public comment.”

There have not been any announcements as to when they plan to issue the new set of proposed rules.


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