reflections, updates and homilies from Deacon Mike Talbot inspired by the following words from my ordination: Receive the Gospel of Christ whose herald you have become. Believe what you read, teach what you believe and practice what you teach...
Friday, June 24, 2022
Abortion is NOW banned in Louisiana
Abortion is now banned in Louisiana. Here’s what you need to know.
The U.S. Supreme Court voted Friday to uphold a Mississippi law, overturning the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling that recognized that the right to liberty in the Constitution, which protects personal privacy, includes a woman's right to decide whether to continue a pregnancy. The 6-3 ruling returns decisions on abortions to the states.
As one of over a dozen states with a so-called “trigger law” on the book, Louisiana has been poised to ban abortion since 2006.
Louisiana's trigger law, signed by former Gov. Kathleen Blanco, goes into effect once Roe v. Wade is overturned. The law bans most abortions and criminalizes the act of providing an abortion, except in some instances.
It is unclear if Louisiana’s three abortion clinics must close their doors immediately. Some providers in Louisiana have said they would stop providing abortions as soon as the decision was announced.
SB342, a bill by state Sen. Katrina Jackson, was also passed in the recent legislative session and signed by Gov. John Bel Edwards. It bans all abortions from the “moment of fertilization," and penalizes people who provide abortions with jail time and fines.
Does Louisiana allow exceptions for rape or incest?
There are no exceptions for rape or incest in the 2006 law or SB342, regardless of the age of the pregnant woman.
Can pregnancy be terminated for medical reasons when the mother's life is in danger? What if the fetus is not viable?
Yes, there are exceptions if there is substantial risk of death or impairment if the woman continues with the pregnancy. However, the law stipulates that the physician must make a reasonable effort to save both the life of the mother and fetus. SB342 also specifically states that abortions are allowed for ectopic pregnancies.
SB342 also allows for exceptions if the the fetus is “medically futile.” That diagnosis must come from two physicians and requires them to submit a report.
Is the abortion pill legal?
Louisiana lawmakers recently voted to criminalize the online and mail-order distribution of abortion pills, making it illegal for anyone to send abortion pills to Louisiana residents by mail. Those who do face one to five years in prison and fines up to $50,000.
Providers in the state who currently prescribe pills will no longer be able to do so unless the life of the mother is at risk or the fetus is not viable.
Is emergency contraception like Plan B or birth control illegal?
Birth control and Plan B remain legal.
Can Louisiana residents go to other states for an abortion?
Yes. But many of the surrounding states have trigger laws that have also taken effect. The median driving distance to an abortion provider for Louisiana residents will now be over 600 miles, according to the Guttmacher Institute.
As of the day of the ruling, Florida has not yet banned abortion and allows it up to 24 weeks. On July 1, that will change to 15 weeks in Florida. The nearest states that allow abortion may be North Carolina, Illinois, Kansas and New Mexico.
How many women get abortions in Louisiana?
Louisiana has approximately 1.1 million female residents of reproductive age. In 2021, 7,444 abortions were performed in the state.