Reproductive Rights

Louisiana Personhood Bill Would Ban Some Forms of Birth Control and Give Fetuses Full Legal Rights

Louisiana Senator Elbert Guillory (R) pre-filed a personhood bill this week calling for a constitutional amendment that would give full legal rights to a fetus, ban many forms of birth control, in vitro fertilization, as well as some health care procedures for pregnant women. Senate Bill 80 would add a section to the Louisiana constitution defining personhood as “a human being from the moment of conception.”

via Slyvia McFadden
via Slyvia McFadden

The Louisiana state Senate is in session starting April 15, and is in session until June 11. SB 80 will be voted on in the Louisiana primary October 24, 2015, rather than in the general election in November.

Guillory, who just two years ago switch parties and became a Republican, is running for lieutenant governor against Billy Nungesser (R), President of Plaquemines Parish, and Baton Rouge Mayor Kip Holden (D). While Nungesser and Holden are showing campaign funding in the millions, Guillory is running a campaign in debt for the second year in a row.

This personhood bill is the latest in a long series of attempted restrictions for women seeking abortion care in Louisiana. Just this December, under the administration of Governor Jindal, the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals issued a letter to Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast refusing to allow its new state of the art clinic in New Orleans to perform abortions on the legal “excuse” that it did not show a need for a new facility to perform abortions in Louisiana. In 2012, Jindal’s administration passed a state law requiring abortion clinics to show that there is need for another clinic before applying for a license.

Similar personhood bills have been introduced in other states, including Colorado, North Dakota, and Mississippi, all of which defeated the proposed personhood bills over the past year.

Media Resources: Legis.la.gov; Feminist Newswire 11/5/14; 5/21/14; 1/20/15; NOLA 2/19/15; The State 1/16/2015;

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