Talk of anti abortion bills in Louisiana spark heated debate

Published: May. 21, 2019 at 8:17 PM CDT
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LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - Lawmakers are looking at a plan called the “Love Life Amendment" a bill pushed by State Representative Katrina Jackson that was recently approved and sent back to the House to consider changes the Senate made. It would stop anything in the state’s constitution from securing the right to abortion.

While many say it’s an attack on women’s rights Jackson says they are fighting to protect human life.

If that bill passes, Louisiana would join eight other states in passing abortion restrictions that could challenge the Supreme Court’s landmark “Roe vs. Wade” decision. This decision protects a woman’s right to have an abortion. This right is currently recognized in the state of Louisiana.

While the termination of pregnancy is currently legal, Louisiana is looking into tightening abortion regulations.

Those on both sides of the debate were firm in their opinion.

Michelle Erenberg, head of the women’s advocacy group, LIFT, thinks the laws are unjust.

“I think we need to be clear about what those laws are about and that is controlling women," Erenberg said.

Others like Jeanne Lebato, head of a pregnancy resource center, agree with these restrictions.

“We see the adverse effects of abortion on women everyday in our center, and we also feel that human life begins at the moment of conception, this is a scientific fact," Lebato said. "It doesn’t matter if you’re conservative or liberal or anything in between. It’s scientific.”

Lebato says some of those effects include anger, depression, guilt, and substance abuse.

“We’ve had those women choose life for their babies after they were raped and we have had someone place that child for adoption,” Lebato said. “We have had another mother choose to parent her babies and both of them were grateful for choosing life for those children.”

Erenberg believes it’s unethical to tell a victim of these circumstances that they don’t have an option to abort.

“If the legislatures and the anti-abortion activists that are pushing these bills were really concerned, we would actually be focused on expanding access to contraception so that we can reduce the rate of unplanned pregnancy in Louisiana," Erenberg said. “We would be providing medically accurate sex education to young people, as well as increasing economic security for women by raising the state minimum wage or providing equal pay for women."

With numerous states in the country continuing to bring forth legislation on this issue, the battle won’t be over anytime soon.

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