Louisiana voters will have the opportunity to advance protections for unborn babies through a pro-life amendment to their state constitution on Nov. 3.
The Love Life Amendment, or Amendment 1, would add the following language to the Louisiana Constitution: “To protect human life, nothing in this constitution shall be construed to protect a right to abortion or the tax payer funding of abortion.”
“This is a crucial effort to protect unborn babies and their mothers by making sure there is no right to abortion or the funding of abortion in the Louisiana Constitution,” Louisiana Right to Life said in an email to supporters this week.
The organization is urging Louisianans to vote “yes” on Amendment 1. The ballot question will ask: “Do you support an amendment declaring that, to protect human life, a right to abortion and the funding of abortion shall not be found in the Louisiana Constitution?”
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Benjamin Clapper, executive director of Louisiana Right to Life, said the measure is necessary to protect unborn babies from death by abortion on demand.
“The Supreme Courts of 12 other states (as recently as 2018 in Iowa) have found a right to abortion in their state constitutions, striking down common-sense pro-life laws in the short term and ensuring abortion-on-demand in their states even if Roe v. Wade is overturned,” he said. “We cannot let that happen in Louisiana. By passing the Love Life Amendment we can place our pro-life values of respecting every human life at the heart of our state.”
However, abortion activists are lobbying voters to reject the amendment, and Louisiana Right to Life reported pro-life signs and displays were stolen recently in five different cities.
State Rep. Katrina Jackson, a pro-life Democrat who sponsored the proposed amendment, said she wants to protect her state from being forced to accept abortion on demand.
“This amendment makes sure there is no right to abortion or taxpayer funding of abortion in our state constitution,” Jackson said when she introduced the bill. “By passing this we can rest assured that, together with our state law, we will never become like New York, which recently legalized abortion up to the very moment before birth.”
A 2019 poll of Louisiana voters found that 70 percent consider themselves to be pro-life. In addition, 71 percent said taxpayer funds should not be used for abortions.
Several states have passed state constitutional amendments to protect unborn babies in recent years.
In 2018, West Virginia voters passed a similar state constitutional amendment after decades of being forced by a court ruling to fund elective abortions with taxpayer dollars. The amendment will make it easier for state lawmakers to pass pro-life laws in the future.
Alabama voters also passed a pro-life constitutional amendment by a strong margin in 2018. The amendment guarantees that “the constitution of this state does not protect the right to abortion or require the funding of abortion.”
Meanwhile, this fall, Colorado voters will have the chance to vote on a ballot measure to ban late-term abortions on viable unborn babies in their state.