Louisiana Right to Life is proud to herald the successful passage of a diverse package of life-protective laws this legislative session, including its flagship legislation, HB 449, the Adoption Option Act.
“The Louisiana Legislature, across party lines, again showed its commitment to the dignity of human life, the selfless option of adoption, and the health and safety of women this session by passing a variety of pro-life laws,” said Benjamin Clapper, executive director of Louisiana Right to Life. “We applaud Gov. (John Bel) Edwards for his unwavering support of life. Louisiana is a state that believes every human life, born or unborn, is worthy of our protection. We anticipate a day when all lives in Louisiana are protected under law.”
Three pro-life bills that were approved, HB 273, HB 287, and HB 338, are aimed at pulling our laws passed in previous years from the confines of federal court.
Dorinda Bordlee, Senior Counsel for the Bioethics Defense Fund and legal advisor to Louisiana Right to Life, said the Bioethics Defense Fund was honored to provide pro bono legal consultation on this package of pro-life bills.
“We especially commend Louisiana for passing our model legislation known as the ‘Adoption Option Act,’ which gives pregnant women who are not ready to parent concrete first steps to consider an alternative that will not subject her body and her baby to the trauma of abortion,” she said.
Louisiana Right to Life and pro-life leaders from around the state celebrated Pro-Life Day at the Capitol on April 4. The day included a luncheon with Gov. Edwards and recognition on the floor of the House.
HB 449 (Act 319): The Adoption Option Act
This legislation focuses on ensuring that women considering abortion in Louisiana are provided more compelling and re levant informationabout the option of adoption before deciding to carry through with an abortion. It was authored by Rep. Rick Edmonds.
How it progressed: This bill was unanimously approved by the House (97-0) on April 11 after being reported favorably from the House Health and Welfare Committee on April 4. The Senate unanimously approved the bill with amendments on May 3 after it advanced out of the Senate Health and Welfare Committee on April 25. The bill was adopted in House concurrence and signed by Gov. John Bel Edwards on May 25.
HB 273 (Act 204)
HUMAN REMAINS: Provides relative to post-abortion interment or cremation of human remains. Authored by Rep. Frank Hoffmann.
How it progressed: The bill was passed out of the House by a vote of 95-1 on April 10 after being reported favorably by the House Health and Welfare Committee on April 4, The bill advanced out of the Senate Health and Welfare Committee on April 25 and was unanimously approved by the Senate on May 7. The bill was signed by the governor on May 15 and became Act 204.
HB 891 (Act 498)
FUNDS/FUNDING: Provides relative to the prohibition on public funding for entities that perform abortions. Authored by Rep. Frank Hoffmann.
How it progressed: This bill was reported out of the House Health and Welfare Committee on April 4 and became HB 891. It was approved by the House on April 12 by a vote of 90-3.The bill advanced out of the Senate Health and Welfare Committee on April 25 and was approved 28-5 by the Senate, with amendments. It was adopted in House concurrence, then signed by the governor on May 23.
HB 287 (Act 77)
ABORTION: Provides relative to laws concerning abortion based on genetic abnormality. Authored by Rep. Rick Edmonds.
How it progressed: This bill was reported favorably out of the House Health and Welfare Committee on April 4 and unanimously approved by the full House on April 10. It was approved by a 31-1 Senate vote on May 3, having advanced out of the Senate Health and Welfare Committee on April 25. Gov. Edwards signed the bill on May 10 and it became Act. 77.
SB 181 (Act 468)
15-WEEK PROHIBITION ON ABORTION: Prohibits abortion at 15 weeks gestation but makes the bill effective on the outcome of a Mississippi federal court case dealing with a similar 15-week law. Authored by Sen. John Milkovich.
How it progressed: This bill was reported favorably out of the Senate Committee on Judiciary C on April 17. The Senate approved it on April 24 by a vote of 31-3. On May 2 the House Committee on Administration of Criminal Justice voted 9-8 to report the bill with amendments, and it was referred to the Legislative Bureau. On May 3 it was reported without amendments from the Legislative Bureau. The full House approved the bill May 15 by a vote of 81-9, then it was adopted as amended by the House in Senate concurrence on May 16. It was sent to the governor on May 18 and signed on May 23.
COERCED ABORTION PROHIBITION: Makes the intentional coerced abortion a crime in Louisiana. Authored by Sen. John Milkovich.
Where it is: The bill was reported with amendments by the Senate Committee on Judiciary C on April 17 and approved by a unanimous vote of the full Senate, with Senate floor amendments, on May 1. The House Committee on Administration of Criminal Justice reported the bill with amendments and referred it to the Legislative Bureau on May 8 and reported without amendments from there on May 10. The House unanimously approved the bill as amended on May 16 and sent it back to the Senate, where it was adopted in Senate concurrence. It was sent to the governor on May 22 and signed on June 1.
FALSIFIED ABORTION RECORDS: Provides authority to the Department of Health to revoke or suspend the license of an outpatient abortion facility if the facility is found to have falsified its patient records. Authored by Sen. John Milkovich.
Where it is: The bill was reported with amendments from the Committee on Judiciary C on April 17, then was recommitted to the Health and Welfare Committee, where it was reported with amendments on April 25. The bill was approved 34-3 by the Senate on May 1. On May 8 it was reported favorably from the House Health and Welfare Committee and referred to the Legislative Bureau, which reported it without amendments on May 10. The bill was unanimously approved by the House on May 16. It was sent to the governor on May 18 and signed into law on May 25.