New Louisiana legislation regarding abortion restrictions have been passed. The following is a breakdown of what bills were passed by the House (HB) and the Senate (SB):
HB 449, also known as the "Adoption Option Act," will require abortion clinics to give women information about adoption.
HB 891 expands existing state policy to prevent taxpayer funds from being used directly or indirectly by abortion providers like Planned Parenthood;
SB 181 provides an additional provision to Louisiana’s current trigger law by prohibiting abortion after 15 weeks gestation in the event the same Mississippi law is upheld in the U.S. Fifth Circuit.
HB 273 authorizes the Department of Heath to enact regulations that the bodies of aborted unborn children are given burials in accordance with unclaimed human corpses.
HB 297 addresses the creation of materials giving resources for children prenatally diagnosed with genetic conditions such as Down Syndrome;
SB 534 criminalizes forced/coerced abortion. No woman should be forced to undergo the trauma of abortion against her will;
SB 325 gives penalties for the falsification of abortion reporting and patient records.
The bills currently await the signature of Gov. John Bel Edwards. Many pro life groups are celebrating the passage of these bills. Benjamin Clapper is the Director of the pro life group known as Louisiana Right To Life (LRTL).
Clapper spoke with the Leesville Daily Leader and expressed his opinions on the bills. “We are very happy with the outcome of this legislative session,” he said. “This is another victory that promotes the sanctity and dignity of all life. It is our duty as a society to cherish all life both born and unborn.”
Clapper also took the time to respond to those who oppose this legislation and organizations like LRTL. There are many who believe that this recent legislation, and pro life advocacy groups only work to support laws that take away a woman’s right to choose.
“The idea that we are opposed to women’s right to healthcare is simply not true,” Clapper said. “We have no bias towards women. There are many women who work in our organization at very high levels.” He cited the help of Donna Bordlee of the Bioethics Defense Fund for her service as legal counsel for LRTL.
In an earlier statement released to the media Bordlee said “The Bioethics Defense Fund was honored to provide pro bono legal consultation on this package of pro-life bills. We especially commend Louisiana for passing our model legislation known as the "Adoption Option Act," which gives pregnant women who are not ready to parent concrete first steps to consider an alternative that will not subject her body and her baby to the trauma of abortion."
Clapper expressed that he believed the work that LRTL does helps women more than anyone else. “The bottom line is that, abortion hurts women. Women deserve better than abortion.”
Clapper has served as the Executive Director for LRTL for the past 11 years. One of the alternatives to abortion that the group advocates for is adoption.
“No matter your stance on abortion I think everyone can get behind putting children in good homes by raising the adoption rate.”