On June 12, Republicans and Democrats stood together in a bipartisan spirit as Gov. Bobby Jindal signed House Bill 388, the Unsafe Abortion Protection Act, into law. It was a historic day to celebrate the legislation that will protect Louisiana women by requiring abortion physicians to have admitting privileges at a local hospital.
Louisiana should be thrilled that our legislators could come together, cut through the rhetoric and enact these patient-centered protections. The Legislature took notice of the wise words of a three-judge panel of the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in March as it upheld the Texas version of HB388:
“Requiring abortion providers to have admitting privileges would also promote the continuity of care in all cases, reducing the risk of injury caused by miscommunication and misdiagnosis when a patient is transferred from one health care provider to another.” By the way, all three judges on this 5th Circuit panel were women.
Unfortunately, in a Politico article on the same day Gov. Jindal signed HB388, Sen. Mary Landrieu crushed any bipartisan unity by unfairly criticizing Jindal. She claimed that one of the only reasons he has signed this bill into law is because of his interests in the 2016 presidential election. Landrieu accuses Jindal of not “serving the people of Louisiana
“It is disappointing that Senator Landrieu would attempt to politicize what has been an overwhelmingly bipartisan effort. Democratic Rep. Katrina Jackson authored HB388, and 66% of Democrats in the Louisiana Legislature voted for the legislation. The bipartisan mandate to protect Louisiana women exhibited by the passage of HB388 shows again that Louisiana is a pro-life state.
Also in the same article, Senator Landrieu indicated clearly for the first time that she opposes federal legislation to protect unborn babies at 20 weeks fetal age that can feel pain.
Senator Landrieu said, “Some of the bills being passed around the country are just very intrusive to personal decisions and very harmful to women and girls, you know, to their physical health and life. It’s a shame,” Landrieu said. “20 weeks is not the norm for being able to live outside of a hospital.”
For over a year now, we have been working to get Senator Landrieu to support this legislation known as the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. It is disappointing to see our Senior Senator oppose such a modest proposal to protect babies that feel pain.
But perhaps even more disappointing was what she said just before she showed her opposition. In the article, Senator Landrieu stated that she believes “life begins at conception.” How can you believe that a life begins at conception but OPPOSE legislation that would protect that same life 20 weeks later?
This position does not make sense. Either you believe life is valuable, and therefore you protect it, or you do not. You cannot have it both ways!
Louisiana Right to Life asks Senator Landrieu to issue an apology to Governor Jindal and all the legislators, Democrat and Republican, who supported HB 388. Our governor and legislators should be congratulated for serving the life-affirming values of the people of Louisiana, not those of the abortion industry.We also ask Senator Landrieu to reconsider her opposition to legislation that protects babies that feel pain. For this legislation to succeed in Congress, we need Senator Landrieu to represent Louisiana and be a voice for those who cannot speak for themselves.