Women's health advocates speak out against abortion and pay raise bills
BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - On the final day of the 2018 regular legislative session, a group of Louisiana women admonished their legislators for approving a ban on abortion after 15 weeks and failing to pass equal pay laws.
The group, the Advocates for Women's Health, held a news conference sponsored by Planned Parenthood to protest bills they say are bad for women.
"We will see you at the polls, we will see you on the streets, and we will be present at every legislative session - ensuring that our voices are heard and our community needs are met," Women with a Vision representative Lakeesha Harris said.
The women spent most of their time on a bill by Sen. John Milkovich, D-Shreveport, that would ban abortion after 15 weeks. Under current law in Louisiana, abortions are banned after 20 weeks.
Milkovich's ban would be one of the toughest in the nation, although it can only become law if similar legislation in Mississippi is upheld in federal court.
National Organization for Women Louisiana representative Angela Adkins says the bill restricts women's freedoms and called it unconstitutional.
"With those patients, we cry with them," Adkins said of pregnant women who choose to have abortions because of potential health complications with their baby. "They need options. Women need options."
The women called Milkovich's abortion bill "anti-life" because of proposed cuts to healthcare and education, and pleaded with the governor to veto.
Gov. John Bel Edwards, a Democrat, has said he's inclined to sign it.
The women said they are watching each legislator's priorities and they are encouraging more women to run for office around the state.
"The women are coming," Adkins said. "We are coming."
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