Pro-life supporters applauded a move by the Louisiana state legislature requiring doctors to tell women seeking abortion the physical and emotional risks of abortion and carrying a child to term.

The move is part of the state’s newly restored informed consent law. The law also involved the distribution of the booklet, Abortion, Making a Decision, which features information on fetal development, methods of abortion and immediate and long-term medical risks.

Produced by the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals, the booklet included discussion of a possible link between abortion and increased risk of breast cancer.

An earlier law was struck down by a court challenge, but a subsequent ruling in Pennsylvania cleared the way for the re-enactment of the Louisiana informed consent legislation. In reintroducing the law, state legislators argued “it is essential to the psychological and physical well-being of a woman considering an abortion that she receives complete and accurate information on her alternatives.”

Judie Brown, president of American Life League, praised Louisiana legislators for the decision to re-enact an informed consent law.

“The state of Louisiana is at the forefront of the battle to end abortion in this country,” Brow said. “The lawmakers there are showing great courage on the issue.”

It is significant, Brown said, that the booklet included discussion of the abortion-breast caner link. “This might help in our efforts to get Congress to hold hearings in this kind of information.”

Some pro-life supporters have suggested that research linking abortion and increased risk of breast cancer is being suppressed or discredited.

Brown said Americans United for Life, a Chicago-based legal advisory group, is monitoring the impact of the Louisiana booklet.

Canadian pro-life groups meanwhile are encouraged by the Louisiana law. Campaign Life Coalition (Ottawa) has already sent copies of the booklet to each federal Member of Parliament and the organization is hoping to distribute it among members of the Ontario legislature.

Local pro-life groups are hoping the provincial government will consider legislation requiring that Ontario women considering an abortion be advised of all the alternatives available. However a Campaign Life Coalition survey of candidates in last summer’s Ontario election indicated that less than half of the victorious Progressive Conservative legislators would support measures to ensure informed decisions for women seeking abortion.