On Wednesday, the Louisiana House voted 85-7 to eliminate taxpayer funding for any organization that performs abortions.
The bill’s author, Republican State Representative Frank Hoffman, expressed hope that the legislation would persuade some current recipients of tax dollars to “stop doing abortions” or “not start doing abortions.” It does not apply to abortions performed due to rape, incest, threats to a mother’s life, or pregnancies deemed “medically futile.”
The bill now moves on to the Senate. It stands a good chance of becoming law, as Democrat Governor John Bel Edwards has said he will sign it if it reaches his desk.
However, it is still also likely to face a lawsuit from abortion advocates, who have challenged in court former Republican Governor Bobby Jindal’s move to terminate Louisiana’s Medicaid contract with Planned Parenthood.
Defenders of that decision have noted that states routinely exercise discretion over which entities they contract with for Medicaid services without controversy. Part of the rationale for that lawsuit, however, centered around singling out Planned Parenthood for termination, whereas this bill applies to any provider involved in abortion.
This month, Louisiana lawmakers have also advanced legislation imposing 72-hour waiting periods on abortions and banning dismemberment abortion procedures.