Louisiana is moving forward with a bill that would confirm there is no right to an abortion in the state constitution. The state Senate passed the measure Tuesday evening.
The bill would add language to the Louisiana Constitution stating that there is no right to an abortion or taxpayer funding for abortions. To be added, the bill must pass the state legislature by a two-thirds majority and then be approved by voters.
The Love Life Amendment now heads back to the House for some technical legislative matters before going to the Secretary of State’s office for placement on the October 12 ballot.
Benjamin Clapper, Executive Director of Louisiana Right to Life, said the following after the hearing, “The Senate JUST passed the Love Life Amendment by a 31-4 margin! We are one step closer to a vote on the October 12 ballot!”
“This constitutional amendment will ensure there is no right to abortion in our state constitution. We must act now as a pro-life state to respond to states like New York who have legalized abortion to moments before birth,” he said.
“Thank you for all your petition signatures and emails to your Senators. They heard the pro-life people of Louisiana, even amidst the hysteria of pro-abortion groups demanding abortion until birth,” he told pro-life people. “Earlier today, we held a Pro-Life – Pro-Woman Press Conference with multiple TV and media outlets covering courageous pro-life women leaders such as Rep. Katrina Jackson and Sen. Beth Mizell. We also heard the powerful pro-life testimony of Shreveport physician Dr. Sally Ball who was conceived in rape. Dr. Ball’s life reminds us why we must protect every life!”
“We also await the final House vote on the Louisiana Heartbeat Bill,” Clapper added.
The measure’s sponsor is state Rep. Katrina Jackson, a pro-life Democrat who spoke at the March for Life in January.
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“This amendment makes sure there is no right to abortion or taxpayer funding of abortion in our state constitution,” Jackson said when she introduced the bill. “By passing this we can rest assured that, together with our state law, we will never become like New York, which recently legalized abortion up to the very moment before birth.”
The pro-life Amendment passed the Louisiana House of Representatives by a 80-10 margin.
If passed through the Legislature by a ⅔ margin and then a vote of the people, the Love Life Amendment, Louisiana Right to Life’s 2019 flagship legislation, would ensure that there is no right to abortion or the taxpayer funding of abortion in Louisiana’s Constitution.
Abortion activists already are fighting against the legislation. Steffani Bangel, of the New Orleans Abortion Fund, told the House committee that it would add to women’s suffering, according to the report.
“People in Louisiana suffer when restrictions like these are passed. Women are suffering now, and so too are the children born into families that couldn’t support them,” Bangel argued.
But Benjamin Clapper, executive director of Louisiana Right to Life, said the measure is necessary to protect unborn babies from death by abortion on demand.
“The Supreme Courts of 12 other states (as recently as 2018 in Iowa) have found a right to abortion in their state constitutions, striking down common-sense pro-life laws in the short term and ensuring abortion-on-demand in their states even if Roe v. Wade is overturned,” he said. “We cannot let that happen in Louisiana. By passing the Love Life Amendment we can place our pro-life values of respecting every human life at the heart of our state.”
In February, a poll of Louisiana voters found that 70 percent consider themselves to be pro-life. In addition, 71 percent said taxpayer funds should not be used for abortions.