Louisiana legislature defunds abortion industry, governor’s signature expected

On Monday, the Louisiana Senate voted 33-2 to eliminate taxpayer funding for any entity that provides elective abortions. With the bill having already passed the state House, it now goes to Governor John Bel Edwards for his likely signature.

The bill makes an exception for abortions performed due to rape, incest, threats to a mother’s life, or pregnancies deemed “medically futile.” Edwards, a self-described pro-life Democrat, has expressly endorsed defunding the abortion industry in Louisiana.

The measure is particularly unwelcome news for the New Orleans facility Planned Parenthood is currently constructing. The abortion giant is not currently licensed to perform abortions in the state, but has said it wants to offer them at the new location. Doing so would subject Planned Parenthood to the new law.

Abortion advocates are expected to challenge the defunding in court, just as they sued over former Republican Governor Bobby Jindal’s move to terminate Louisiana’s Medicaid contract with Planned Parenthood.

In reality, states routinely exercise discretion over which providers are appropriate Medicaid recipients, though that legal defense would be unnecessary here, as the latest legislation targets the activity of providing abortion rather than a single organization.

In addition to defunding, Louisiana lawmakers have recently passed a 72-hour abortion waiting period and a ban on the dismemberment abortion procedure. Legislation banning abortions sought on the basis of a child’s genetic abnormalities is also under consideration.

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