Louisiana House Committee Passes Abortion Ban

Louisiana’s State House Committee on the Administration of Criminal Justice approved a near-total ban on abortion last Wednesday and the bill, already approved by the Senate, is moving to the House floor for debate. The House Committee approved the ban after attaching an amendment to permit abortion only in order to save the woman’s life or in situations in which the woman’s life would be “permanently impair[ed],” reports the New Orleans Times-Picayune. There are no exceptions for cases of incest or rape.

Speaking to the Times-Picayune, spokesperson Julie Mickelberry of Planned Parenthood of Louisiana and the Mississippi Delta said the bill “puts politics above the health and safety of womenÉYou are not taking a woman’s health into consideration.” According to the Associated Press, Representative Monica Walker (D) had suggested an amendment that would reverse the ban in cases of incest or rape to the Committee. The bill was approved without these exceptions and Walker is considering offering an amendment during the debate by the full House, reports the Times-Picayune.

Should the House vote in favor of the ban, the bill will return to the Senate to approve the amendment. Debate in the Senate last month demonstrated the strong anti-choice politics of the legislators, as there were no arguments against the ban, but only questions of whether to include exceptions for cases of rape and incest. An amendment to include rape and incest exceptions was defeated. The ban is a trigger law, meaning it will only go into effect if Roe v. Wade is overturned.

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Associated Press 5/17/06; Feminist Daily News Wire 4/28/06; New Orleans Times-Picayune 5/18/06

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