The abortion industry has done it again – just last week, they filed a lawsuit against another common-sense pro-life law we passed in Baton Rouge.
This time, they wanted to make sure that minor girls can have abortion “without barriers” and even without parental involvement.
One of the many disgraceful aspects of legal abortion in America is the lack of parental rights when it comes to a minor seeking an abortion. It’s arguably easier for a minor to have an abortion without their parent’s consent than for a student to have an aspirin in high school without that same parental consent!
While Louisiana law says that a minor must have consent of at least one parent to have an abortion, the Supreme Court has given a minor the “judicial bypass” option, allowing a minor girl to seek a judge’s approval to have the abortion, all without the parent knowing. We believe the Supreme Court should do away with judicial bypass all together, but until that day, we must ensure that minor girls aren’t taken advantage of by the abortion industry when parental involvement is really what they need.
And under this mandate of requiring a judicial bypass, Louisiana law allowed the minor to go to a judge in the parish where she lives or, astonishingly, to a judge in the parish where the abortion facility resides, to get this judicial approval. So if a minor lives in Washington Parish, for example, instead of talking to a judge in her own home parish, she can get approval from a judge in New Orleans, Baton Rouge, or even Shreveport! And once the minor has the judicial approval, she can have the abortion, without the parents ever knowing!
It has become clearer and clearer over the past five years that the abortion industry takes advantage of this loophole. The abortion industry has set up a process to place minors with judges in these parishes that they know will approve the abortion in a quick fashion. Their attorneys have found abortion-friendly judges who will likely always grant the approval for abortion. One story Louisiana Right to Life heard recently was that a New Orleans judge approved a minor’s abortion through Zoom meetings lasting less than 10 minutes! How can a judge hundreds of miles away evaluate the maturity of a minor in a short Zoom meeting, expediting a decision that will impact her for the rest of her life!
This past legislative session, we changed that, limiting the jurisdiction to judges in a local parish.
We hope the Supreme Court soon will remove Roe v. Wade and the judicial bypass all together. But until that time, we want judges in local parishes who haven’t been lobbied by the abortion industry to be conversing with minor girls who are considering an abortion. These judges have a better knowledge of their local community and potentially the resources that might be available to young women.
Without surprise, the abortion industry is upset, and they have filed suit against our law in state court. Once again, they want abortion with no restrictions and without the input of parents who can help their children make the best decisions. Don’t just listen to me: in their own press release, they said minor girls “deserve access to abortion care without barriers..”
Thankfully, Attorney General Jeff Landry and his legal team are defending this law that was overwhelmingly passed by the Louisiana Legislature. At Louisiana Right to Life, we are in touch with them about this case and they have assured us they are fully committed to protecting the rights of parents through this law. We must protect the rights of parents to protect them from an abortion industry looking to sell abortion, as they say, “without barriers.”