By Sarah Zagorski
Louisiana is not New York when it comes to abortion but you would have thought otherwise if you were at the New Orleans City Council meeting yesterday. The council consisting of seven members voted unanimously to condemn the Louisiana Heartbeat Bill signed into law to protect unborn babies from the violence of abortion. The law prohibits abortion at the time a fetal heartbeat can be detected through an abdominal ultrasound, that is between eight and twelve weeks.
Proponents of the resolution argued their same old rhetoric, cloaking abortion as healthcare, exploiting foster care kids and those facing adversity to justify abortion and denying the scientific fact that unborn babies are indeed alive with hearts of their very own. One person even said they wanted New Orleans to be a “sanctuary city” for abortion. Last I checked, sanctuary cities are for shielding and protecting human beings not killing innocent babies and hurting women.
The spectacle reminded me how far abortion advocates have gone in recent weeks to advance abortion up to birth, from likening the life of an unborn baby to a tapeworm and calling the heartbeat of an unborn baby merely “pulsing cells” to boycotting pro-life states, they often have no interest in science or making abortion rare as they once claimed.
During the meeting, councilman-at-large Jason Williams called the Heartbeat law dangerous and immoral while vice-president of the council Helena Moreno claimed that abortion is healthcare and the law endangers the lives of girls and women. LIFT Louisiana and Planned Parenthood were among those to support the resolution.
Despite the abortion celebration from the council, our diverse team from Louisiana Right to Life shared the truth about abortion, with Executive Director Benjamin Clapper testifying that human rights have to be protected before birth and after. In criticizing the testimony of abortion advocates, he said, “The other side, when they were speaking there wasn’t a single mention of the rights of the unborn child, as they simply don’t exist and are not part of this conversation. One day in this nation we will protect the rights of unborn child and remember conversations like this as a time that we missed that chance to protect their rights, just like our rights are protected.”
Taylor Gautreaux, a college student and Louisiana Right to Life intern, addressed claims targeted to persuade the council that women’s rights are being threatened by protecting unborn lives. She said, “As a woman, my rights do not outweigh the rights of my future children. My decision to control my body will begin before they are conceived. But after that new life begins, their rights will matter just as much as mine do. We will be equal because we are both humans. The rights of unborn human beings is not a partisan issue. Human rights are not an option.”
She later added: “To the city council members opposing this law, please refer to the biology textbook we all had to study in college. Each and every one of us were alive, distinct and human from the very beginning.”
Black Advocates for Life Associate Director Jonathan Burton, Brother Martin rising senior T.J. Burgess, and Community Center for Life Executive Director Deya Onsotti joined a number of pro-life advocates speaking out against the resolution. \
Abortion advocates openly mocked and disrupted the testimony of our team and other pro-life speakers during the hearing. Although polling of our state shows that Louisianaians are overwhelmingly pro-life, the hearing was a good reminder that we must remain diligent in our efforts to protect life so we don’t wake up one day with leaders that champion abortion for virtually any reason.