Under Louisiana’s abortion ban, doctors face penalties of up to 15 years in prison, $200,000 in fines and loss of their medical license. Dr. Neelima Sukhavasi, a Baton Rouge OB-GYN, says that doctors are scared. Here, Dr. Sukhavasi poses for a portrait in Baton Rouge, La., on Monday, March 18, 2024.
Credit: Christiana Botic

In the wake of Louisiana’s abortion ban, pregnant women have been given risky, unnecessary surgeries, denied swift treatment for miscarriages and ectopic pregnancies, and forced to wait until their life is at risk before getting an abortion, according to a new report first made available to NPR.

It found doctors are using extreme caution to avoid even the appearance of providing an abortion procedure.

“We were stunned by just how much regular medical practice for pregnant people has been disrupted,” said Michele Heisler, the medical director of Physicians for Human Rights and one of the report’s authors.

The report is titled “Criminalized Care: How Louisiana’s Abortion Bans Endanger Patients and Clinicians.”

It draws on interviews with 30 health care providers and 13 patients conducted in 2023, and was jointly supported by four groups that support abortion access: Physicians for Human Rights, the Center for Reproductive […]

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