Mar 19, 2014 9:00 AM by AP (Photo courtesy MGN Online)
A proposal to add new restrictions on abortion providers in Louisiana gets its first legislative hearing, before the House health care committee.
Rep. Katrina Jackson, a Democrat from Monroe, is sponsoring a bill that would require doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital. It's similar to a controversial restriction recently passed in Texas.
Jackson says the proposal would enact "common-sense safety standards" to protect women's health.
Abortion rights supporters say if lawmakers pass the new requirement, it would force the closure of three of Louisiana's five abortion clinics - and leave none open south of Shreveport.
The House Health and Welfare Committee is scheduled to hear the proposal Wednesday.
Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal backs the bill.