by Steven Ertelt
June 7, 2006
Baton Rouge, LA (LifeNews.com) — Gov. Kathleen Blanco plans to sign a statewide comprehensive ban on abortions, according to her staff. The state legislature signed off on the ban on Monday, which prohibits all abortions except those to save the life of the mother.
The ban would go into effect if the Supreme Court overturned its 1973 Roe v. Wade decision and is different from a South Dakota ban that seeks to prohibit abortions now and is considered an attack on Roe.
The Louisiana state legislature sent the bill to Blanco on Monday.
Roderick Hawkins, deputy press secretary, told the New York Times that Blanco had not yet seen the bill but planned to sign it as soon as possible.
"The governor has always been a pro-life person," Hawkins said, "and this fits into her beliefs of supporting life and being anti-abortion. Plus, this had overwhelming bipartisan support of the Legislature."
During the initial debate in the legislature, Blanco said she favored adding rape and incest exceptions to the bill, though lawmakers twice rejected amendments to do so.
Still, Hawkins told the Times that Blanco favored the legislation because of "safety measure" in the bill that would allow women who are victims of rape or incest to get the morning after pill. The drug can prevent conception but sometimes can cause an abortion.
Dorinda Bordlee, a long-time pro-life attorney in Louisiana and vice president of the Bioethics Defense Fund, told LifeNews.com other states should follow Louisiana’s lead.
"Our approach to include a post-Roe activation clause, sometimes called a trigger clause, enabled the legislators to speak their hearts without abortion industry lawyer’s breathing down their backs," Bordlee explained.
"It allowed post-abortive women to educate the legislators about how abortion negatively impacted their lives in profound ways," Bordlee added. "Other states that choose to follow Louisiana’s lead will help build a consensus to reverse Roe."
Under the measure, an abortion practitioner who does an abortion would be fined from $10-100,000 and receive anywhere from one to 10 years in prison.
The House approved the measure on a 85-17 vote and rejected rape and incest exceptions by a 67-36 margin. The Senate originally signed off on the bill with a 31-6 vote and defeated the extra exceptions on a 20-17 vote.
Lawmakers approved an abortion ban in 1991 that did have rape and incest exceptions in it and was eventually vetoed by then Gov. Buddy Roemer. Federal courts declared it unconstitutional in 1992.
The measure is SB 33, the Human Life Protection Act.