As Oklahoma’s legislature passed one of the nation’s strictest anti-abortion bills Thursday (May 17), women’s choice proponents in Louisiana avoided a measure that would have classified abortion as a homicide.
Louisiana state Rep. Danny McCormick withdrew his bill on May 12 that included language that would have authorized murder charges against women for having abortions, NBC News reports.
The GOP lawmaker came under pressure from other Republicans who argued that the measure, dubbed the “Abolition of Abortion in Louisiana Act,” went too far and was likely unnecessary, given the anticipated U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to reverse the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling.
“We’re on the precipice of the most significant pro-life victory in this country in 50 years. We should be celebrating together,” state Rep. Alan Seabaugh, a Republican, said in opposition to McCormick’s bill.
“We should not be at each other’s throats over a bill that is blatantly unconstitutional, makes criminals out of women, would not prevent a single abortion and, as far as I can tell, was only presented to give a couple of misguided people a platform.”
Under the measure, women who got an abortion and anyone who helped them would have been charged with homicide, The Associated Press reported. It would have also voided any federal law, regulation or court ruling that allows abortions, as well as provided for the impeachment of any judge who blocked enforcement of the proposed law.
Louisiana is one of several states that already has a “trigger law” that would criminalize abortion if Roe v. Wade is overturned by the Supreme Court. Doctors or anyone else who performs an abortion would be subject to 10 years imprisonment under the law.
Meanwhile, the nation braces for the high court’s expected decision next month on the fate of Roe v. Wade, which has guaranteed a nationwide right to abortion since 1973.
Widespread protests erupted after Politico reported on May 2 that a leaked draft of a high court opinion shows that the justices have voted to overturn nationwide abortion rights.
In Oklahoma, legislation passed Thursday (May 17) that would ban abortions from the moment of fertilization awaits Gov. Kevin Stitt’s signature, The Washington Post reports. Stitt, an anti-abortion Republican, is expected to sign the bill.