Louisiana Conservatives Advance Bevy Of Anti-Abortion Bills After Breakfast Hosted by ‘Pro-Life’ Groups

Wednesday was an extraordinarily busy day for Republicans in the Louisiana legislature, especially on the issue of abortion rights. After having breakfast with anti-abortion groups on Wednesday morning, House and Senate Republicans went to their committees and advanced several measures to restrict the abortion rights of women across the state.

Two bills were advanced by the Senate Health and Welfare Committee.

• SB 593 is a ‘fetal pain’ bill that bans abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy. Republicans claim that fetuses can feel pain at 20 weeks, but multiple studies, including one in 2005, and most scientists generally agree that fetuses can’t feel pain until well into the third trimester after 24 weeks. The 2005 study suggests 28 weeks. Nevertheless, Republicans are advancing this bill because they believe in harming women’s reproductive rights more than they believe in actual science. The bill does have exceptions for women who need medically futile abortions to save their lives, but there are no exceptions for women who are raped, meaning Republicans are letting rapists win.

• HCR 11 is a request to Congress to stop funding Planned Parenthood. To stop such funding would have a negative impact on the many services women rely on such as cancer screenings and contraception services. By targeting the 3% of abortions that Planned Parenthood legally performs, Republicans are willing to sacrifice women’s health care in its entirety. As sponsor of the bill GOP state Rep. Frank Hoffman said, “I’m sure they [Planned Parenthood] do many good things but they lead the nation in abortions.”

Two bills were also approved by the House Health and Welfare Committee.

• SB 708 forces women to watch the forced ultrasound they are required to have before having an abortion unless they specifically refuse to view it. The bill also forces women to listen to the fetal heartbeat unless they refuse to hear it. These are not the only things in the bill, however. It also requires women to wait 24 hours after the examination before having the abortion. The current waiting period between examination and abortion is 2 hours.

As you can see, Republicans in Louisiana are very active in the GOP war on women. Isn’t it just horrifying to see Republicans bow down to anti-abortion groups that easily? Apparently all it took was a breakfast to spur these Republicans into taking action on these bills. It seems like Louisiana is trying to compete with Kansas and Arizona for the title of ‘Red State Most Hostile Towards Women.’ Clearly, Republicans have a vendetta against women wanting to make their own health care decisions. From Kansas, to Georgia, to Arizona, to Wisconsin, to Pennsylvania, to South Dakota, to Texas, to Nebraska, to Iowa, to Tennessee, to Missouri, to Virginia, Republicans are desperate to force women to carry pregnancies to term. It doesn’t matter if they are raped or impregnated through incest. It doesn’t matter if their lives are at risk. It doesn’t matter if the fetus is totally deformed or even non-viable. It doesn’t matter if other health care services are sacrificed. It doesn’t matter if women are forced to undergo transvaginal ultrasounds. It doesn’t matter if women lose their privacy and personal liberty. It doesn’t matter if women are unable to protect themselves from getting pregnant. None of that matters to Republicans as long as women submit to the will of conservative men on matters of reproduction and reproductive health. That is the one and only goal of all of these anti-abortion and anti-contraception bills. To put women in their place. And so far, Republicans have nearly achieved this goal in a few states. Unless women fight back, and fight back hard, they will one day wake up and discover that they don’t control their own bodies in the United States of America.