Women's Right To Know

You are reading this booklet, Women's Right To Know, because you are thinking about having an abortion.

Louisiana law says that only a Louisiana-licensed physician may perform or induce an abortion and that he/she must talk to you about certain things before you can have an abortion. After you get this information, your doctor must wait 24 hours before your abortion can be performed. You and your doctor should talk carefully and privately. Some of the things your doctor must talk about with you before you have an abortion include:

  • how long you've been pregnant;
  • the name of the doctor who will be performing the abortion;
  • a description of the abortion method he/she plans to use, as well as alternatives to abortion;
  • the medical risks of having an abortion; and
  • the medical risks of continuing your pregnancy.

It is unlawful for any individual to coerce a minor or adult woman to undergo an abortion. Any physician who performs an abortion upon a woman without her informed consent may be liable to her for damages in a civil action at law. The law permits adoptive parents to pay costs of prenatal care, childbirth and neonatal care.

Another booklet has been prepared for you, called A Women's Right to Know Resource Directory. It lists programs and services that can help you through pregnancy, childbirth and the child's dependency. It will give you the names, addresses and telephone numbers of these programs. The directory also has information about public and private adoption agencies that may be able to help you. The directory is available online or by request. To request call 504-568-3504.

There are many public and private agencies willing and able to help you to carry your child to term, and to assist you and your child after your child is born, whether you choose to keep your child or to place her or him for adoption. The state of Louisiana strongly urges you to consult an independent physician about the risks of abortion to your physical and psychological well-being and to contact the resources provided on our website before making a final decision about abortion. The law requires that the abortion provider give you the opportunity to contact agencies like these before you undergo an abortion.

This booklet, the directory and plenty of other helpful information is available online at the  Women's Right to Know Site.

This website is secure. No one from the Louisiana Department of Health will collect or save any information about you.

The webpage version of the fetal development pamplet Women's Right To Know is outlined for your convenience. Click the link below for a pdf of the entire booklet or select a section for more information on a specific topic.Select a section for more infomation: