May 13, 2022

The GOPer extremist who wrote the bill that would have charged Louisiana women with murder for having abortions pulled the proposal from debate Thursday night after House members voted to revamp the legislation and eliminate the criminal penalties. Via the Associated Press:

The controversial bill would have ventured farther against abortion than lawmakers’ efforts in any other state. It would have made women who end their pregnancies subject to criminal homicide prosecutions.

“This is a thorny political question, but we all know that it is actually very simple. Abortion is murder,” Rep. Danny McCormick, a Republican from Oil City, proclaimed as he opened debate. He noted that a majority of Louisiana lawmakers in the heavily Republican Legislature say they are anti-abortion, and briefly chided those abortion opponents who also oppose his bill. “We’re faltering and trying to explain it away.”

But McCormick’s measure had drawn increasingly strong opposition from many anti-abortion stalwarts. Gov. John Bel Edwards, an anti-abortion Democrat, said he would veto it. Louisiana Right to Life, the Louisiana Conference of Catholic Bishops, and the National Right to Life Committee were among the prominent anti-abortion opponents of the measure.

So even in the deep South, there is not as much political appetite for labeling women murderers as we might have thought:

Pending at the time was the amendment by Rep. Alan Seabaugh. The Shreveport Republican is an anti-abortion stalwart. But his amendment overhauled McCormick’s bill, declaring that women would not face criminal penalties for abortion. It also allowed abortion to save the life of a pregnant woman. And it eliminated language in McCormick’s original bill that appeared to make contraceptive drugs and at least some aspects of in vitro fertilization illegal.

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