Both sides react to Abortion Amendment

Micah Pickering
Leesville Daily Leader

Louisiana officially amended the State Constitution to declare that there was "no right to and no funding of abortion" to be found in the Constitution during Tuesday's election. With over two million votes cast, 62 percent of voters were in favor of Amendment I (HB 425). 

While the amendment is not a ban on abortion, it does declare that there is no right to abortions in the Louisiana State Constitution. It also declares that there is no funding of  abortion to be found in the Louisiana State Constitution. 

Abortion is still a divisive issue among Americans today. After the amendment passed, both pro-life and pro-choice advocates had plenty to say. 

Benjamin Clapper is the Executive Director of Louisiana Right to Life. Clapper touted the election results as a victory for the pro-life cause in Louisiana. Clapper made the following statements about the amendment passing in an official release on Tuesday night.

"Louisiana has overwhelmingly passed the Love Life Amendment and shown its love for mothers and babies! With the passage of this amendment, our citizens have mandated that state judges can never use our Constitution to enshrine abortion or the taxpayer funding of abortion in Louisiana. We the people, through our legislators, can pass laws defending life without the intervention of judges.

"We encourage other states to pass their own version of the Love Life Amendment. For too long, activist judges around the nation have usurped the power of state legislatures and declared a right to abortion-on-demand. It's time we changed this in every state across America.

"We look forward to the day Roe v. Wade is overturned and Louisiana can once again protect all our citizens, including those waiting to be born. Moving forward, the pro-life movement will continue to support mothers and babies and work toward a day when every child is protected by law and welcomed with love in our nation."

Katherine Ragsdale is the President and CEO of the National Abortion Federation, and she condemned the amendment. Ragsdale claimed that the amendment was just a larger ploy by pro-life politicians to ban abortion entirely. 

Ragsdale issued the following statement on Tuesday night in response to the passing of Amendment I (HB 425). 

"Tonight, Louisiana set up one part of a chain reaction designed by anti-abortion politicians who want to ban abortion in Louisiana if federal abortion rights are dismantled. Amendment 1 would let the state ban abortion completely if Roe v. Wade is weakened or overturned, and it will harm Louisianans.  

"It is already difficult for many patients to access abortion care in Louisiana. The state has enacted 89 abortion restrictions since 1973, which is more restrictions than any other state in the country. And these restrictions most hurt the people who already face barriers to getting good care: people of color, women, the LGBTQ community, people with low incomes, and young people. Access to abortion should not depend on who you are, where you live, or how much money you make, yet that is too often the reality in Louisiana. We talk to patients in Louisiana every week who are struggling to afford and access abortion care.

"Still, our member clinics will open their doors tomorrow to fight for their patients and help people in Louisiana access the abortion care they need."