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Gov: Abortion criminalization bill is "radical, anti-woman"

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Posted at 3:39 PM, May 11, 2022

Gov. John Bel Edwards issued a statement against House Bill 813, which would subject a woman who has terminated her pregnancy to criminal prosecution for murder and could severely limit access to contraception and life-saving health care.

Gov. Edwards said:

“My Catholic Christian faith teaches me to be pro-life, which is something I’ve been honest and upfront about with the people of Louisiana, who I believe mostly agree with me.

But House Bill 813 is not a pro-life bill. In addition to the fact that this legislation is patently unconstitutional, this bill would criminalize the use of certain types of contraception, as well as parts of the in vitro fertilization process, and it could even serve as a barrier to life-saving medical treatment for a woman who is suffering a miscarriage. To suggest that a woman would be jailed for an abortion is simply absurd.

This legislation is radical and it goes far beyond simply being pro-life. I do not normally comment on these types of bills before they’ve made it through the legislative process, but I felt I had to join my voice to the chorus of pro-life organizations against HB 813.

Working together, we can create a Louisiana that values life and supports women, children and families. House Bill 813’s proposals are not the way to do that here or anywhere else.”

To read the current version of the bill and to check it's progress, click here to see the bill's page.

On Tuesday, our media partners at The Advocate reported that the state’s foremost anti-abortion organizations say they can’t support legislation that could lead to prosecuting women who terminate their pregnancies, at least as it is currently written.

Even without the opposition of the Catholic bishops, Louisiana Family Forum and Louisiana Right to Life, many of the 23 women in the House, five in the Senate – regardless of where they stand on abortion – say the measure is a "no go." House Bill 813 is scheduled to be considered Thursday by the full House.

To read the Advocate's story, click here.