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Louisiana hospitals are hesitant to perform abortions for medically-futile pregnancies

Ochsner Baptist Medical Center. March 25, 2020.
Patrick Madden
Ochsner Baptist Medical Center. March 25, 2020.

On today’s episode of Louisiana Considered, Stephanie Grace and Paul Braun joined us to discuss the week in state politics. Also, we learn about invasive species that are inching a little closer to the Mississippi River Basin from the Great Lakes every year; and from Houston Public Media, we hear how some Houston residents are still feeling the effects of Hurricane Harvey five years after the storm made landfall. This episode of Louisiana Considered originally aired on Friday, Aug. 26, 2022. To hear the full episode, click the “play” button above.

First up on today’s episode, we heard the latest from a press conference held this morning near the steps of the State Capitol. The event was hosted by Nancy Davis of Baton Rouge and her lawyer, Ben Crump.

Davis found out around 10 weeks into her pregnancy that her fetus has a fatal condition known as acrania, which means the fetus effectively doesn’t have a skull and would not survive outside the womb.

Davis has been unable to get an abortion in Louisiana because of the state’s near-total abortion ban. Louisiana hospitals are refusing to perform any abortions out of fear of litigation, even in cases allowed under the new law.

Stephanie Grace of the Advocate | The Times-Picayune and WRKF/WWNO’s Paul Braun, who attended the press conference, joined us to discuss Davis’ situation, and to talk about recent political assaults on New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell.

Federal and state agencies spend millions of dollars every year to keep destructive invasive carp out of the Great Lakes. Meanwhile, at least 25 destructive species — like water fleas and bloody red shrimp — are inching closer to the Mississippi River Basin every year. Juanpablo Ramirez-Franco of the University of Missouri School of Journalism’s Mississippi River Basin Ag & Water Desk tells us more about the destructive potential of those invasive species as they make their way downriver.

As we approach the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Ida here in Louisiana, to our west in Houston, it’s the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Harvey’s landfall. Our friends at Houston Public Media launched a podcast earlier this month — Below the Waterlines: Houston after Hurricane Harvey. We listened to excerpts from the third episode, in which reporter Sara Willa Ernst examines mandatory buyouts of flood-prone homes in Harris County.

Today’s episode of Louisiana Considered was hosted by Patrick Madden. Our managing producer is Alana Schreiber and our digital editor is Katelyn Umholtz. Our engineers are Garrett Pittman, Aubry Procell, and Thomas Walsh. 

You can listen to Louisiana Considered Monday through Friday at 12:00 and 7:30 pm. It’s available on Spotify, Google Play, and wherever you get your podcasts. 

Louisiana Considered wants to hear from you! Please fill out our pitch line to let us know what kinds of story ideas you have for our show. And while you’re at it, fill out our listener survey! We want to keep bringing you the kinds of conversations you’d like to listen to.

Louisiana Considered is made possible with support from our listeners. Thank you!

Patrick Madden joined WWNO in 2019 as its first-ever Regional News Director, overseeing news reporting at WWNO, as well as our partner station WRKF Baton Rouge. Madden also serves as one of the hosts of Louisiana Considered, and co-hosts Friday's Politics Roundtable on Louisiana Considered with Stephanie Grace, columnist for The Times-Picayune | The Advocate.
Aubry is a reporter, producer and operations assistant in Baton Rouge.