By Angie Thomas, Associate Director, Louisiana Right to Life
Are you ready for an abortion-free Louisiana? I know I am! This November, we have a chance to get one step closer to that critical goal. Your vote can protect unborn lives in Louisiana for generations to come!
On Nov. 3, 2020, on the same ballot as the presidential election, there will be a question awaiting you: “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?”
We sure hope your answer is “YES!”
Why do we need this pro-life constitutional amendment?
First, let us tell you a little bit about why we need this constitutional amendment. The quick answer is: This is the most expedient path to ending abortion in a post-Roe country. The longer answer lies in the history of our pro-life laws and in the patterns we are currently seeing across the nation.
Back in 2006, Louisiana passed a pro-life “trigger” law. You may be asking yourself… “What’s a trigger law?” When Roe v. Wade is overturned at the Supreme Court and the question of the legality of abortion goes back to the states, then this law will be activated, and abortion will be immediately illegal in Louisiana. The law is triggered by the overturning of Roe v. Wade.
Many great pro-life Louisiana laws have been passed since then as well. In 2010, the fetal pain act that outlawed abortion after 20 weeks was passed. Then came the famous admitting privileges law in 2014. As many of you know, this law was just recently taken all the way to the United States Supreme Court. Oral arguments were just heard last month.
In 2016, this great state passed the Unborn Protection Dismemberment Act, which closed the gap even more by outlawing abortion after 12-14 weeks. This law is currently being fought against in federal court. And finally, just last year, Louisiana passed the Heartbeat bill, a law protecting unborn babies after a heartbeat can be detected, which is around the six-week mark. This law will not take effect until a similar Mississippi law makes its way through the federal court system.
Do we see a pattern here? When the people of Louisiana speak up about their values and elect legislators to represent their values, the result is consistent: We are a pro-life state! But almost every time pro-life legislation is passed, the abortion advocates bring it to federal court so that a handful of judges can undo what Louisiana citizens clearly want. As it is right now, five unelected justices act as our nation’s abortion control board.
All of these important laws have been dependent on federal judges and the Supreme Court. This is why the make-up of the Supreme Court has been top-of-mind in recent decades. The judiciary has overstepped its powers by legislating from the bench in the area of abortion. We are hopeful the current make-up of the U.S. Supreme Court will be the one to right the wrong of Roe v. Wade.
Disturbing trends in other states
Abortion advocates see the writing on the wall that Roe is on shaky ground. Those abortion advocates decided to try to bypass the people’s voices again, but this time through the state courts. We are seeing a disturbing trend in other states where the state supreme courts are finding a “right to abortion” in the state constitutions.
In 13 states, the state supreme courts have found a right to abortion in their constitutions. We are calling these cases “mini-Roe decisions.” These decisions have been issued in obvious states such as California, Vermont, and New York, but also in largely pro-life states like Mississippi and Kansas. These can be drastic decisions that could enshrine abortion-on-demand through all nine months of pregnancy and strike down common-sense pro-life laws in the process, such as basic rules like parental consent, ultrasound-before-abortion laws, and much more.
We have the opportunity to protect Louisiana from this fate. This is why we need a constitutional amendment. The Love Life constitutional amendment would place language in the Louisiana Constitution to prevent that from ever happening here. It ensures that the Louisiana Constitution is protected from state judges taking the abortion issue away from the people.
There is hope
Several states have clarified that their state constitutions do not protect abortion. In Tennessee, even though the state court found a right to abortion in its constitution, an amendment was passed to reverse that court decision. Similar prolife amendments passed in Alabama, West Virginia, Arkansas, and Rhode Island.
Now, it’s Louisiana’s turn!
Why do we need to cover the state with marketing?
In Alabama, abortion advocates pumped in more than $1.5 million! Their goal was to deceive the public and get them to vote against the pro-life amendment. We are anticipating that abortion advocates will do the same or more here in Louisiana.
We must counter their message with our message of love and life. In order to do that, we need your help. We want to cover our state in a pro-life message. We will have billboards, radio spots, yard signs and more.
How you can help
The “Love Life” Amendment gives Louisiana citizens our own choice. Will we continue to allow judges to govern us or will we let the people decide?
This is a huge moment in history. You have the opportunity to be a voice for the voiceless.
If we had been around during the times of slavery, we would hope we would have stood up for the dignity of all people. You are here now, at this moment of history. Will you stand up for life?
If we lose this amendment, it would be a huge blow to the pro-life movement in Louisiana. If the amendment does not pass, the Louisiana Supreme Court could have more reason to adjudicate as if the Constitution does include a right to abortion. It is of the utmost importance that this Love Life Amendment passes.
This is also about showing the world just how pro-life we are here in Louisiana. Here in this state where family means everything and there’s always something to celebrate, it seems appropriate that we call it the Love Life Amendment. We sure do love life…. All life. It’s time we stand up for life.
We need your help in spreading the word. We need to cover our state with marketing. We would like to have Love Life team leaders in every parish of the state. Don’t delay. If you feel called to be more involved, please contact Alex Seghers at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Everyone has a role to play in the passing of this pro-life amendment.
We are closer than ever to ending abortion in Louisiana. The Love Life amendment is the final piece of the puzzle to ensure that Louisiana protects unborn babies.