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Charlotte Lozier Institute

Phone: 202-223-8073
Fax: 571-312-0544

2776 S. Arlington Mill Dr.
#803
Arlington, VA 22206

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Charlotte Lozier Institute

Phone: 202-223-8073
Fax: 571-312-0544

2776 S. Arlington Mill Dr.
#803
Arlington, VA 22206

Maternal & Public HealthAbortion

Abortion Reporting: Louisiana (2021)

Louisiana’s 2021 abortion report was published by the Louisiana Department of Health in June 2023. The data published on the Department’s website is marked as preliminary, but CLI was able to confirm via email correspondence with Department officials that the data is final. The report shows that abortions slightly decreased from 2020.

Statistics and Changes in Louisiana Abortions, 2020-2021

Louisiana does not report the number of chemical abortions occurring in the state.

Abortion Totals and Trends

In 2021, there were 7,444 abortions reported in Louisiana, down 0.4 percent from the previous year (Fig. 1). The Charlotte Lozier Institute (CLI) estimates that Louisiana’s 2021 abortion rate was essentially the same as the previous year’s, 8.1 abortions per 1,000 women ages 15 to 44 (Fig. 2). As of July 2023, 33 states have released 2021 abortion statistics, with ten states reporting that abortions decreased from 2020.

State Report Summary

The majority of Louisiana abortions involved women in their twenties, with 28 percent involving women ages 20 to 24 and 30 percent women ages 25 to 29. Another 30 percent were performed on women in their thirties, while eight percent were performed on girls under the age of 20 and three percent on women over the age of 40.

Sixty-five percent of the abortions reported in Louisiana were performed on black women, 23percent on white women, and 12 percent on women of other races. There were 29 abortions (0.4 percent) for which race was not reported. CLI estimates that Louisiana’s black abortion rate was 14.4 abortions per 1,000 women ages 15 to 44, 4.5 times the white abortion rate of 3.2.

Ninety percent of Louisiana abortions were performed on unmarried women. Nine percent were obtained by married women, and one percent by women of unknown marital status.

A majority of abortions reported in 2021—57 percent—were conducted using suction curettage. Louisiana does not report chemical abortions separately, instead grouping them into a category of abortions performed using “other procedures.” These “other” abortions accounted for 43 percent of the total. Dilation and evacuation abortions made up 0.3 percent of the total.

Fifty-two percent of the abortions performed in Louisiana occurred at eight weeks of gestation or earlier, 23 percent between nine and 10 weeks, and 11 percent between 11 and 12 weeks of gestation. Seven percent of Louisiana abortions were performed between 13 and 14 weeks of gestation, and five percent were reported between 15 and 16 weeks. One percent occurred between 17 and 19 weeks of gestation. Fewer than five abortions were performed at 20 weeks of gestation, although the exact number was suppressed to protect confidentiality.

Twenty-seven percent of Louisiana abortions were reported to have been performed for mental health reasons, while two percent were performed for the mother’s physical health. There were 37 abortions for rape or incest (0.5 percent) and 16 because of a risk of “fetal deformity” (0.2 percent). Most abortions performed in Louisiana, 71 percent, were performed for other, unspecified reasons.

The Louisiana Department of Health provided CLI with information on the parish and abortion facility in which the abortions occurred (‘parishes’ in Louisiana correspond to counties elsewhere). Almost half the abortions (47 percent) occurred at Hope Medical Group for Women (in Caddo Parish). Twenty-six percent were performed by Women’s Health Care Center (in Orleans Parish) and another 26 percent at Delta Women’s Clinic (in East Baton Rouge Parish). In addition to the 7,444 abortions reported in Louisiana, there were 704 abortions known to have been performed on Louisiana residents in other states. The report does not indicate where these abortions took place, and they are not included in any of the other tables in the report.

State Abortion Reporting Legislative Changes

Two new laws related to abortion reporting were passed by the Louisiana state legislature and signed by Governor John Bel Edwards in 2021. The first piece of legislation, HB 423 (now Act 425), was signed by Governor Edwards on June 21, 2021, and became effective on August 1 of that year. The law requires that the state’s Department of Health (DOH) provide the Department of Children and Families (DCF) as well as the Attorney General with copies of all abortion reports for girls under the age of 13 who received an abortion in the state. The law also mandates that hospitals report surgical complications to the DOH as well as provide reports to the DOH on patients who present for treatment in emergency rooms following an abortion.

Another law related to abortion reporting that was passed in June 2021 and went into effect that August was HB 357 (Act 482). This legislation focused on the reporting of abortions involving minors. HB 357 requires that abortion reports provide details about whether the doctor or other staff members at abortion facilities suspected any abuse or neglect of the minor, whether or not that abuse was reported to the appropriate authorities, and whether those medical professionals required the minor to participate in counseling and evaluation from a mental health professional from the DOH or DCF. The reports are also to include information on judicial bypass orders (court orders exempting minors from needing parental consent for abortions) and why they were granted. Lastly, the legislation requires that the state’s annual abortion reports include a section on abortions performed on minors.

Pursuant to that requirement, data from August 15 through December 31, 2021 was made public as a part of the state’s 2021 annual report. There were 66 abortions performed on minors that required authorization either via parental consent or a judicial waiver. Parental consent was obtained in 65 of the 66 cases and a judicial waiver was granted in one case. The single judicial waiver was issued in the Orleans Parish, and the minor who obtained the waiver did participate in counseling and evaluation and was determined to be mature and capable of giving consent for her abortion. In 62 of the cases of a minor obtaining an abortion, the abortion facilities did not suspect abuse or neglect of the minor. In the four cases where abuse and neglect were suspected, the facilities reported all four cases of abuse to law enforcement. In 23 of the 66 cases, the abortion facilities referred the minor for post-abortion counseling but did not do so in 43 cases.

Other Legislative Changes

Following the overturn of Roe v. Wade on June 24, 2022, Louisiana’s law prohibiting abortion at conception (passed in 2006) went into effect the same day. (The law has exceptions in the cases where the mother’s life or physical health is seriously endangered or the unborn child has a fatal anomaly.) The law was subsequently stalled due to a variety of legal challenges but went into effect on July 29, 2022, and remains in effect.

State Ranking

In CLI’s 2016 analysis of abortion reporting across the country, Louisiana was ranked 10th best. Louisiana could improve its reporting by adding chemical abortion to its abortion reporting form. Given the enforcement of the law limiting abortion except when the mother’s life is in danger or a fatal fetal anomaly exists , Louisiana could also require that abortion providers submit a written explanation of why an emergency abortion was necessary, as in some other states. Louisiana could also require any medical professional treating an abortion complication to report not just complications related to surgical abortions (pursuant to Act 425) but also require that complications related to chemical abortions be reported as well, as chemical abortions have a complications rate four times higher than surgical abortions.

  1. National rates were calculated by the Guttmacher Institute. Louisiana rates were calculated by CLI using the following formula: (total number of abortions performed in Louisiana ÷ number of resident women ages 15-44) x 1,000. Rates may differ slightly from previous CLI articles due to revised population estimates and abortion totals. Population estimates were obtained from the CDC WONDER database.  Estimates for 2005-2009 are intercensal estimates of the July 1 resident population. Estimates for 2010-2019 are Vintage 2020 postcensal estimates of the July 1 resident population. Estimates for 2020-2021 are Vintage 2021 postcensal estimates of the July 1 resident population. Estimates were produced by the U.S. Census Bureau and the National Center for Health Statistics.

Click here to view reporting from:20222020201920182017

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