If you’re of the mind that the government should not be able to dictate what a pregnant person can and cannot do with their own body, you probably feel as though you were transported to a dystopian hellscape earlier this week when the Supreme Court indicated that it is poised to overturn Roe v. Wade. And while we’d love to be able to say, “but the good news is…” as it turns out, there is no good news, only the very bad kind. If the national right to choose is gutted, abortion care will be severely restricted or fully outlawed in roughly half of the country. And if you think conservatives will stop at merely refusing to allow pregnant people to obtain abortion care, you have very much underestimated them.
Look no further than Louisiana, where Republicans advanced a bill on Wednesday that would, per The Washington Post, “classify abortion as homicide and allow prosecutors to criminally charge patients, with supporters citing a draft opinion leaked this week showing the Supreme Court ready to overturn Roe v. Wade.” (In his opinion, Justice Samuel Alito approvingly cited the work of a 17th-century jurist who described abortion as “great crime“ and a “great misprision,” and who also happened to be a defender of marital rape and had women executed.) While other states have been content to merely ban abortion and, in some cases, make it a felony to perform, the Louisiana legislation would make the person undergoing the procedure a criminal, and one that could presumably face imprisonment if prosecuted and convicted. “This is saying that people can be charged with murder for any act that they take against their own pregnancy,” reproductive rights lawyer Ellie Schilling told USA Today. According to the Post, experts believe the bill “could also restrict in vitro fertilization and emergency contraception because it would grant constitutional rights to a person ‘from the moment of fertilization.’”
While Louisiana is one of 13 states in which abortion would become illegal the moment Roe is overturned, that‘s apparently not enough for the those who think an unwanted or nonviable pregnancy should ruin a person’s life. “I know we have a trigger law,” Brian Gunter, a pastor who helped draft the bill, told the Post. “It says that abortion providers have to pay a $1,000 fine…that is woefully insufficient.” Speaking to the Lafayette Daily Advertiser, he added: “No compromises, no more waiting. The bloodshed in our land is so great we have a duty…to protect the least of these among us.”
If the bill manages to pass the GOP-controlled House and Senate, it will head to the desk of Governor John Bel Edwards. Despite being a Democrat, Edwards, who describes himself as “pro-life,” signed a bill in 2019 banning abortions after a heartbeat is detected, with no exceptions for incest or rape. So that’s pretty worrisome.
The post Louisiana Republicans Want to Charge People Who Undergo Abortions With Homicide appeared first on Vanity Fair.Last Update: Thu, 05 May 22 15:40:11