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Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards has signed a pro-life bill that will ban abortions immediately after the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, which could happen as soon as Thursday.
The governor, a rare pro-life Democrat, also signed a bill banning mail-order abortions — to ensure that dangerous abortion pills that harm women and kill unborn babies are not sold in Louisiana.
Edwards has signed Senate Bill 342, the Reaffirmation of the Human Life Protection Act by Senator Katrina Jackson, and Senate Bill 388, the Mail-Order Abortion Prohibition Act by Senator Sharon Hewitt, into law.
“My position on abortion has been unwavering—I am pro-life and have never hidden from that fact,” the governor said in a letter along with his signature.
Senator Jackson said the following about SB 342: “Louisiana is committed to protecting life and supporting moms. SB 342 enhances current pro-life law by providing clarity and consistency across Louisiana law. I thank Governor Edwards and my fellow legislators for standing with me to pass SB 342 and prepare for the day when Louisiana can protect all of its citizens, including those waiting to be born.”
Both bills were Louisiana Right to Life’s legislative priorities during the 2022 Legislative Session. SB 342 reaffirms current Louisiana law stating that unborn babies will be protected from abortion when Roe v. Wade is overturned. SB 388 creates the crime of the illegal sale of chemical abortions, especially when ordered online without medical oversight.
Benjamin Clapper, Executive Director of Louisiana Right to Life, told LifeNews he was excited by the news.
“With the passage of SB 342 and 388, we are one step closer to an abortion-free future in Louisiana. We are grateful that Gov. Edwards has signed SB 342 into law to reaffirm Louisiana’s longstanding policy that we will protect unborn babies from abortion when Roe v. Wade is overturned. We applauded Senator Katrina Jackson for her dedication and leadership in authoring SB 342 and thank Representative Julie Emerson for carrying SB 342 on the House floor.”
Clapper said the bill banning mail order abortions is an excellent companion to the abortion ban, and its necessary given that the majority of babies whose lives are ended by abortion are killed with the abortion pill.
“We also applaud Gov. Edwards for signing SB 388 into law to stop the dangerous unsupervised online sale of chemical abortion pills into Louisiana. Not only does SB 388 protect the lives of unborn babies, it also protects the health and safety of women who are purchasing chemical abortion pills without any medical exam or oversight. We commend Senator Sharon Hewitt for her commitment to life and the health of women by authoring SB 388 and Representative Laurie Schlegel for carrying the bill on the House floor.”
Clapper said pregnant women in Louisiana have a plethora of alternatives to abortion.
“Louisiana has an abundance of public and private agencies standing by to help mothers and children before and after birth,” he said.
Among other things, SB 342 does the following:
- Reaffirms current Louisiana law stating that unborn babies will be protected from abortion when Roe v. Wade is overturned.
- Updates pro-life law by providing consistency and clarity on abortion across the Louisiana civil and criminal code.
- Holds those performing or selling abortion responsible with criminal and civil penalties, rather than abortion-vulnerable women.
- Ensures that abortion facilities will be closed when Roe v. Wade is overturned.
- SB 342 ensures that physicians can appropriately handle miscarriages and work to save the life of the pregnant mother when her life is in danger.
- SB 342 includes language clarifying that contraceptives or emergency contraceptives are not considered abortions.