Abortion will become illegal in Louisiana if leaked Supreme Court opinion stands

Abortion would become illegal in Louisiana almost immediately if the leaked draft of the U.S. Supreme Court opinion that would overturn the 1973 Roe v Wade decision guaranteeing women the right to an abortion stands when it is officially issued in June.

That's because a 2006 "trigger law" authored by former Democratic state Sen. Ben Nevers and signed by former Democratic Gov. Kathleen Blanco is set to go into effect under the scenario.

There are similar trigger laws in 22 other states, according to the pro-abortion rights Guttmacher Institute, which means Louisiana women would have to travel as far east as Florida, as far west as New Mexico and as far north as Illinois to have an abortion.

A crowd of people gather outside the Supreme Court, early Tuesday, May 3, 2022 in Washington D.C.
A crowd of people gather outside the Supreme Court, early Tuesday, May 3, 2022 in Washington D.C.

Louisiana's 2006 Act 467 prohibits abortion except when necessary to save the life of the mother. There would be no exceptions for rape and incest.

Nevers' "Human Life Protection Act" would become effective immediately if "a U.S. Supreme Court decision reverses, in whole or in part, Roe v. Wade, or an adoption of an amendment to the U. S. Constitution which, in whole or in part, restores to the state the authority to prohibit abortion."

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Louisiana Right to Life celebrated the decision if it stands.

"With an abundance of public and private resources, Louisiana is ready to support women before and after birth," executive director Benjamin Clapper said. "Louisiana is ready to be abortion-free.

"If the Supreme Court decides to overturn Roe v. Wade, Louisiana is ready. In 2006, the Louisiana Legislature passed the Human Life Protection Act, which ensures that the state of Louisiana has the authority to prohibit abortion following the demise of Roe. Additionally, the Louisiana Love Life Amendment passed in 2020 protects our body of comprehensive pro-life laws disallowing state judges from 'finding' a right to abortion or the funding of abortion in the Louisiana Constitution."

But others like Democratic New Orleans state Rep. Mandie Landry, one of the few Louisiana lawmakers who support abortion rights, tweeted: "I am so, so sorry for what will happen to women in our country. The amount of harm this will do to women in this country is indescribable."

A crowd of people gather outside the Supreme Court, Monday night, May 2, 2022 in Washington. A draft opinion circulated among Supreme Court justices suggests that earlier this year a majority of them had thrown support behind overturning the 1973 case Roe v. Wade that legalized abortion nationwide, according to a report published Monday night in Politico. It's unclear if the draft represents the court's final word on the matter. The Associated Press could not immediately confirm the authenticity of the draft Politico posted, which if verified marks a shocking revelation of the high court's secretive deliberation process, particularly before a case is formally decided.

Greg Hilburn covers state politics for the USA TODAY Network of Louisiana. Follow him on Twitter @GregHilburn1

This article originally appeared on Lafayette Daily Advertiser: Abortion will become illegal in Louisiana if Supreme Court opinion stands