A Louisianian state House committee took the first steps today in holding abortionists criminally accountable for killing babies in abortions once Roe v. Wade is overturned. The legislation would make it so abortionists would face fines and prison sentences of up to 20 years for ending the lives of little unborn children.
The House Health and Welfare committee passed 10-2 a bill by Sen. Katrina Jackson, a Monroe Democrat, that would set criminal penalties for anyone who provides an abortion if the Supreme Court overturns abortion rights and lets Louisiana’s existing trigger law go into effect. The trigger law bans all abortions in the state with a narrow exception only to save the life of the pregnant person or prevent permanent damage to a life-sustaining organ.
Under Jackson’s bill, anyone who provides an abortion for a person up to 15 weeks along in their pregnancy could get up to 10 years in prison and pay up to $100,000 in fines. For pregnancies past 15 weeks, those penalties would double to up to 20 years in prison and $200,000 in fines. The bill specifically exempts the pregnant person from these penalties.
The bill defines ‘unborn child’ as beginning at fertilization to ensure that drugs and devices that cause abortions are included.
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Louisiana already has a trigger law that will protect unborn babies by banning abortions as soon as Roe v. Wade is overturned. Because of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling, states are prohibited from banning abortions before unborn babies are viable.
Louisiana is a pro-life state, and its governor, John Bel Edwards, is a rare pro-life Democrat who has signed a number of pro-life bills into law. If the Supreme Court overturns Roe, as many hope it will this summer, Louisiana immediately would begin protecting unborn babies from abortion again under the law. This measure would ensure that the abortion ban has sufficient criminal penalties.
In April, a pro-life bill banning mail-order abortions received approval.
Angie Thomas, Associate Director and legal counsel for Louisiana Right to Life, said the following about SB 388:
“Out-of-state abortion businesses are selling dangerous abortion pills online and mailing them to Louisiana for women to take at home without instruction, physician-oversight or continued care. Without ultrasound and doctor evaluation, these pills can be harmful to the pregnant woman, potentially causing long-term bodily harm or even death. SB 388 clarifies that the online and mail-order sale of abortion pills is unacceptable and dangerous to mothers and unborn children.”