Days after a leaked draft opinion indicated the Supreme Court would overturn Roe v. Wade and, with it, the implied constitutional right to end a pregnancy, Louisiana lawmakers moved forward on a bill that would define abortion as homicide “from the moment of fertilization.”
Louisiana House Bill 813 advanced out of the state House Committee for the Administration of Criminal Justice on Wednesday, according to WWNO-FM, the NPR affiliate in New Orleans. The law would allow anyone who either undergoes or provides an abortion to be charged with murder.
(As the Supreme Court moves closer to delivering a ruling that could overturn Roe v. Wade and end the invented constitutional right to an abortion, The Western Journal will be here providing news and analysis from a conservative, Christian perspective — the kind of thing you won’t be seeing in the mainstream media. If you support our mission, please consider subscribing.)
The bill, known as the Abolition of Abortion in Louisiana Act, was introduced by GOP state Rep. Danny McCormick. It would allow the state to disregard federal court rulings blocking the new law, including granting the Legislature the right to impeach and remove state judges that attempted to enjoin it.
The bill would give “the right to life and equal protection of the laws to all unborn children from the moment of fertilization by protecting them by the same laws protecting other human beings.”
And McCormick said he doesn’t believe the Supreme Court’s decision on abortion matters when it comes to whether the bill becomes law.
“If more than 15 states can defy the federal government over marijuana, we can do it to save the lives of innocent babies,” he said, according to WWNO.
“We cannot wait on the Supreme Court to confirm that innocent babies have the right to life in Louisiana.”
McCormick’s proposed legislation might be seizing the momentum of Monday’s Supreme Court leak, but it also includes a number of provisions that might not pass legal muster.
For instance, there’s this text, which is a bit out of place before the Supreme Court has reached its decision: “Any federal statute, regulation, treaty, executive order, or court ruling that purports to supersede, stay, or overrule this Section shall be in violation of the United States Constitution and the Constitution of Louisiana and is therefore void.”
“This state and its political subdivisions, and agents thereof, may disregard any part or whole of any federal court decision which purports to enjoin or void any provision of this Section,” it continues. “Pursuant to the powers granted to the Legislature by Article X, Part III, of the Constitution of Louisiana, any judge of this state who purports to enjoin, stay, overrule, or void any provision of this Section shall be subject to impeachment or removal.”
The problem, of course, is that this would likely run afoul of the Supremacy Clause in Article VI of the U.S. Constitution, which grants federal laws primacy over state legislation; any federal legislation or regulation enshrining the right to abortion would potentially supersede this.
Keep in mind, too, that HB 813 would be enforced “without regard to the opinions and judgments of the Supreme Court of the United States in Roe v. Wade,” also stated by McCormick.
While Justice Samuel Alito’s draft opinion indicates the court will overturn that case — and thus, the invented constitutional right to an abortion — it’s still a draft opinion and the official ruling is likely weeks away.
If the final ruling ends up not fully abandoning Roe v. Wade — or if the Democrats are somehow able to pass federal legislation codifying Roe — the Biden administration isn’t going to treat this like past administrations treated states that legalized marijuana, turning a mostly blind eye to the violation. Make no mistake: It will go after Louisiana with the fury of a thousand suns.
That said, it’s a bold move more states are bound to make — and it’s one many pro-lifers in Louisiana applauded.
“This bill enacts the immediate and total abolition of abortion in Louisiana. If this bill becomes law, all abortion will be criminalized in Louisiana,” Brian Gunter, a Livingston, Louisiana pastor who helped mobilize support from Christians across the state to support the bill, told The Daily Wire.
“No compromises. No waiting. … This bill will equally protect a child in the womb with the same criminal laws that protect a child outside the womb,” he said.
Zach Conover, communications director for End Abortion Now, said that “equal protection simply means the same laws that protect born children from being murdered ought to protect preborn children from the same thing.”
“Every state has a penal code for homicide,” he said. “However, with many of these states there exists within the code an exception for abortion. HB813 removes the exception to ensure that there can be no legal discrimination against babies in the womb.”
If Roe is overturned — as Monday’s draft opinion indicated it would be — McCormick’s bill could represent the first major legislative battleground for Republicans in the fight to protect the unborn.
Whether it will garner enough support to be enacted — and would end up passing legal muster, even in a post-Roe era — is another issue entirely.
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