Post-Katrina, with a new hurricane season just begun, you know what the people of Louisiana really need right now? You guessed it: an abortion ban!
The state House overwhelmingly passed an abortion ban earlier this week, which allows for no exception for rape or incest. Currently pending in the state Senate, the bill would permit abortion only if the life or health of the mother was threatened. Under the bill, doctors found guilty of performing abortions could face a decade in prison and a fine of up to $100,000. Friday, Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco, a Democrat, said she will sign the bill if it crosses her desk. Yet, it will only take effect if the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade or if the U.S. Constitution is amended to allow states to ban abortion.
Following South Dakota's lead, 11 other states have introduced legislation this year to try to criminalize abortion, according to Planned Parenthood. "Elected officials should stop playing politics with women's safety and start paying attention to the needs of this state. We need homes, good education, and sound health care policy. We need to rebuild after Katrina and Rita," Julie Mickelberry, director of public affairs for Planned Parenthood of Louisiana and the Mississippi Delta, said in a statement. "We don't need laws that threaten women's health."