On Tuesday by a 31-4 margin, the Louisiana Senate passed HB 425, the Love Life Amendment to the Louisiana Constitution.
Article I, Section 20.1 of the Constitution of Louisiana
10 §20.1. Abortion 11 Section 20.1. To protect human life, nothing in this constitution shall be construed to secure or protect a right to abortion or require the funding of abortion.
On April 23, House lawmakers overwhelmingly supported the amendment with a vote of 80-10.
The Love Life Amendment, authored by Rep. Katrina Jackson (D-Monroe) would only ensure the Louisiana Supreme Court cannot find a right to abortion or to public funds for the procedure in the state constitution if or when Roe v. Wade is ever overturned and the issue of abortion is sent back to the individual states.
By having this amendment in the Louisiana Constitution it will block abortion industry lawyers from forcing state court judges to approve abortion rights. HB 425 leaves all consideration of the legality of abortion to the state legislature and not to state judges.
The proposed amendment does not ban abortion under the Roe v. Wade decision.
Benjamin Clapper, the executive director of Louisiana Right to Life said there has been ample discussion about adding exceptions that would still allow abortions for some cases, such as rape and incest.
However, abortion-rights advocates fear it will limit the ability for lawmakers to propose any measure that could loosen restrictions for abortion access in the future.
“If a bill were proposed that potentially expands abortion-rights the state court could immediately step in because it goes against the constitution” explained Mandie Landry, an attorney with LIFT Louisiana.
Louisiana is among six states that have what pro-choice advocates call “trigger laws,” making abortion immediately illegal if Roe v. Wade is overturned.
HB 425 now heads back to the House of Representatives for concurrence on committee amendments before heading to the Secretary of State for placement on the October 12 ballot for consideration by Louisiana voters.