Louisiana voters on Tuesday easily passed an amendment declaring there is no “right to abortion” within the state’s constitution, thus ensuring the issue stays within the state legislature and not in state courts.
Amendment 1, also known by supporters as the “Love Life Amendment,” won 62-38 percent, with 100 percent of the precincts reporting.
The amendment was placed on the ballot by the Louisiana legislature and sponsored by two women – in the Louisiana House by a Democrat, Rep. Katrina Jackson, and in the Louisiana Senate by a Republican, Sen. Beth Mizell. Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards supported the amendment.
It adds one sentence to the Louisiana Constitution reading: “To protect human life, nothing in this constitution shall be construed to secure or protect a right to abortion or require the funding of abortion.”
It does not ban abortion. Rather, it prevents judges from finding a right to abortion within the state constitution if the U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade. It also protects pro-life laws within the state.
Louisiana Right to Life said judges in 13 other states, including in Kansas, have struck down pro-life laws by finding they violate the state’s constitution and “unconstitutionally infringed on individual rights.”
“Thanks to the voters of Louisiana, that will not happen here,” Louisiana Right to Life said in a news release.
Benjamin Clapper, executive director of Louisiana Right to Life, thanked voters for passing the amendment.
“With the passage of this amendment, our citizens have mandated that state judges can never use our Constitution to enshrine abortion or the taxpayer funding of abortion in Louisiana,” Clapper said. “We the people, through our legislators, can pass laws defending life without the intervention of judges. We encourage other states to pass their own version of the Love Life Amendment. For too long, activist judges around the nation have usurped the power of state legislatures and declared a right to abortion-on-demand. It’s time we changed this in every state across America.
“We look forward to the day Roe v. Wade is overturned and Louisiana can once again protect all our citizens, including those waiting to be born,” Clapper added. “Moving forward, the pro-life movement will continue to support mothers and babies and work toward a day when every child is protected by law and welcomed with love in our nation.”
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Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.