Lawmakers vote down bill regarding women and abortions
BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - The laws on the books in Louisiana make it illegal for those who wish to perform an abortion, but it’s the pregnant mother that some at the Louisiana State Capitol are concerned about.
Louisiana’s abortion law is clear that abortions are no longer legal and that consequences will be handed down to those who perform them. But state Rep. Mandie Landry, D-New Orleans, said when it comes to the mothers themselves, not everyone is on the same page.
“I weekly get questions from highly-educated women about what is legal and what is not illegal in Louisiana,” said Rep. Landry.
Her bill would protect pregnant mothers from being punished or penalized for the outcome of their pregnancy, meaning they could not be civilly liable or criminally prosecuted, if, for example, they had a miscarriage, a stillborn, intentionally terminated the baby, or any other outcome that does not result in a live birth.
“Those all look the same when the person is in an emergency room. The fear comes with people who don’t understand the law. Whether it’s the individual patient, or the nurse, or law enforcement agent, this looks the same,” continued Rep. Landry.
“They’re indistinguishable from signs and symptoms, physical exam, or clinical presentation,” added Dr. Ashley Saucier, a pediatric emergency medicine specialist.
It did not take long for others in the room to ask why the bill was necessary when state law already protects the mother, from what they say, are the same examples Rep. Landry presented.
“Can you try to explain a little bit more to me about why that doesn’t cover everything that you’re talking about criminally? I understand the civil penalties but on the criminal side?” asked Rep. Julie Emerson, R-Carencro.
“Again, a clarification, a very straightforward statement of principal and law on this would help in this situation. It certainly wouldn’t hurt anyone,” replied Rep. Landry.
“I think that’s completely unnecessary, a law, because I do believe last year’s bill was very clear,” emphasized Rep. Alan Seabaugh, R-Shreveport. “The fact that people may not understand it is ... I don’t think a very good reason for us to pass a new law.”
The bill may have failed by one vote, but it’s not the only one moving through the Capitol that we’ll be watching.
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