Louisiana Senate passes abortion ban; bill would take effect if Roe is overturned
BATON ROUGE, La. (BP)--The Louisiana Senate passed a bill April 26 that would ban nearly all abortions once Roe v. Wade is overturned or a human life amendment is added to the U.S. Constitution.
The bill, which provides for an exception to save the mother's life, passed by a vote of 30-7, and now heads to the state House. Unlike an abortion ban that passed South Dakota earlier this year, Louisiana's ban includes a "trigger" provision that would prevent it from taking effect immediately.
An amendment to the bill that would have provided exceptions for rape and incest failed on a 17-20 vote.
"[Louisiana] has a right and a duty to protect every human being, whether they are four weeks old, nine months old or 100 years old," Sen. Ben Nevers, a Democrat and the bill's sponsor, told senators, according to The Times Picayune. "... I would never want to hurt a victim of rape or incest. We must do all that we can to protect human life."
It is not known if Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco, a Democrat, would sign the bill. She did tell reporters that she would sign "some kind of abortion bill," The Times-Picayune said. She added that she liked the bill's trigger provision, which is designed to avoid a lawsuit.
The bill refers to the baby as an "unborn child." Doctors who perform abortions could be fined up to $100,000 and jailed up to 10 years.
The U.S. Supreme Court handed down its Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion nationwide in 1973. Of the nine members currently on the court, five are on record as supporting Roe.