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Louisiana debates murder charges for women who have abortions

Louisiana on Thursday will debate a controversial bill that could see a woman charged with murder over an abortion.

The proposed legislation, being pushed by Republican Rep. Danny McCormick, aims to prosecute and jail women who obtain abortions.

Under the law, anyone who helps a woman get an abortion could also be charged.

The bill, which is up for debate in the state House of Representatives, has already drawn backlash from the Democratic governor of Louisiana — and even from prominent anti-abortion groups.

“To suggest that a woman will be jailed for having an abortion is just absurd,” Gov. John Bel Edwards, a devout Catholic, said late Wednesday.

An anti-abortion group, Louisiana Right to Life, echoed the governor’s stance, saying, “Our longstanding policy is that women at risk of abortion should not be treated as criminals.”

Republican Rep. Danny McCormick speaks
Republican Rep. Danny McCormick, who is behind the law, has argued that a woman who performs an abortion should face the same legal consequences as a woman who kills a child after birth.
Getty Images

But McCormick has argued that a woman who has an abortion should be in the same legal position as a woman who kills a child after birth.

“If I give the same protection to the unborn child, it’s possible,” McCormick said.

Aside from including abortion as a form of homicide, the bill states that any federal statute or court ruling allowing abortion would be invalid — and any judge who blocks enforcement could be indicted.

Governor John Bel Edwards speaks
Democratic Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards, a staunch Catholic, has criticized the bill as “misogynistic.”
AP

Edwards has already called the law “manifestly unconstitutional.”

Members of the committee that introduced the bill last week also expressed doubts about its constitutionality.

The bill, first introduced by McCormick in March, is being debated after the leak of the Supreme Court’s draft advisory opinion suggesting the Supreme Court is poised to rule Roe v. to fall Wade.

Louisiana is among the few states that have already enacted laws criminalizing abortion, including a “trigger law” that would ensure that if the Supreme Court reversed Roe, it would be a crime.

Louisiana law appears to exempt women from prosecution for having an abortion.

McCormick and other abortion advocates argue that the law needs to be tightened because existing laws do not give fetuses the same protections.

“That’s a debate we need to have in Louisiana,” he said. “There are good people on both sides of the debate.”

With mail wires

https://nypost.com/2022/05/12/louisiana-debates-murder-charges-for-women-who-have-abortion/ Louisiana debates murder charges for women who have abortions

JACLYN DIAZ

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