Why Louisiana’s Abortion Amendment Makes Nov. 3 Election “A Unique Time” for Voters | Elections

Eyes tend to turn glassy when voters approach the constitutional amendments portion of their ballot. Historically, 13% fewer votes are cast at the bottom of the ballot, where the proposed changes to the fundamental law of the state reside, compared to the top where the choice is who will be president, senator, mayor.

But that’s not the case for Amendment No.1 – the abortion amendment – in Tuesday’s ballot. He is getting as much, if not more, attention than the one who is going to be elected senator, at least judging by the chatter on the radio, in letters to the editor and from the pulpits.

“For most of the amendments, voters are looking at how the government works. For this one, you have to seek your own sense of values ​​and that’s the crucial difference, ”said Robert Scott, whose Public Affairs Research Council of Louisiana, PAR, has for generations published voter guides on constitutional voting initiatives.

We ask voters: “Do you support an amendment stating that in order to protect human life, the right to abortion and the funding of abortion should not be in the Louisiana Constitution?” “

Voters will decide on seven constitutional amendments in the ballot on November 3, including questions about abortion, property taxes and if not claimed …

Louisiana lawmakers, with the backing of governors over the past quarter century, have erected legal hurdles – 89 laws in total – that make abortion in that state much more difficult than in most states.

Being against abortion is one of the few issues that transcends the often bitter divisions between Louisiana politicians: Protestants and Catholics, Democrats and Republicans, black and white, urban southeast and rural north. Opposition to medical termination of pregnancy launched many political careers. For her part, Baton Rouge Mayor Sharon Weston Broome rose to prominence in the State Senate as the lead sponsor of a number of these measures. Little-known Tangipahoa Parish representative John Bel Edwards kicked off his gubernatorial bid with surprisingly personal publicity about how he and his wife ignored a doctor’s advice on abortion and gave birth to their first child.

Presumably, state voters approve of the restrictions. But they were never interviewed directly.

There have been polls. In the last, by the non-partisan institute for research on public religion found 23% of Louisiana residents determined abortion should be illegal in all cases, including pregnancies caused by rape or incest. A year earlier, the Pew Research Center found that about 34% of Louisiana residents surveyed said abortion should be legal in most or all cases, while about half felt the procedure should be illegal depending on the circumstances.

The November 3 election is the first chance for voters in Louisiana to vote directly on the issue.

“It will show the world, our constituency,” said State Senator Katrina Jackson, the Monroe Democrat who sponsored the legislation, “that Louisiana is holistically pro-life.”

Amendment 1 is not a ban on abortion. On the contrary, if approved by the voters, wording would be added to the state’s basic law that no other constitutional right, such as privacy or due process, could be interpreted by the courts of the state. A state like allowing abortion procedures or allowing taxpayer money to fund future abortions like Louisiana already does not allow public money to be used for this purpose.

“It just keeps the abortion policy in the hands of our lawmakers rather than state judges,” Jackson wrote in a letter.

Lawmakers would retain their right to adapt the abortion law.

Constitutional Amendment 1 was approved by the Louisiana legislature in 2019 as courts in 13 states found various anti-abortion measures unconstitutionally violated individual rights. Kansas, a historically Red state with no mention of abortion in its constitution, was one of those who considered abortion a right because of the protection of privacy. The ruling came about two weeks before Louisiana lawmakers approved letting voters decide.

Get insider details of Louisiana politics once a week from us. Register today.

“If it could happen in Kansas, it could happen anywhere. He increased the intensity for lawmakers. This is the heart, Dorothy of the Wizard of Oz. It’s not New York, it’s Kansas, ”said Benjamin Clapper, who, as head of Louisiana Right to Life, is part of a coalition that organized local“ captains ”to pass the amendment 1.

Louisiana abortion clinics sue to block coronavirus shutdown;  the lawyer calls it

Say politicians in Louisiana are trying to exploit the coronavirus pandemic to achieve their goals, a national reproductive rights group Tuesd …

The proposal is touted as a way to ensure Louisiana would be anti-abortion if the U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe vs. Wade, the 1973 United States Supreme Court ruling that currently makes the procedure for termination of pregnancy legal.

Amy Coney Barrett’s rise to the High Court last week has made many believe that Roe deer could soon be canceled. Seventeen cases concerning the right to abortion are about to be heard by the Supreme Court of the United States.

Yes Roe deer is canceled, then each state would be allowed to decide the matter for itself. Louisiana already has a law saying much the same as Amendment 1. Supporters of the amendment argue that inserting anti-abortion language into the state constitution is a built-in safety. state law.

“By adding this language to our Constitution, we will have less of a right to sue for the right to abortion,” said Steffani Bangel, executive director of the New Orleans Abortion Fund, which is part of a coalition trying to defeat the amendment.

To date, only West Virginia and Alabama have added similar anti-abortion language to their constitutions. Other states, including Kansas, have failed to get legislation on their ballots.

In the meantime, Vermont brought forward Proposition 5 in May 2019, which would enshrine abortion as a right in that state’s Constitution. Before that happens, it must be re-passed by the 2021-2022 legislature and then approved by voters in the November 2022 election.

Although legalizing abortion, Roe deer has started battles in many states over the limits of access to abortion: waiting periods, counseling required, mandatory fetal ultrasound views and similar specifications. In June, one of Louisiana’s last restrictions – requiring doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges to nearby hospitals – was overturned 5-4 by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Experts: abortion court ruling will have no impact in southwest Louisiana

A Supreme Court ruling in a Louisiana abortion law case will keep a Shreveport clinic open for now.

Only three clinics in Louisiana – Shreveport, Baton Rouge and New Orleans – perform abortions, which are hours away for many women in the state who need them, Bangel points out. She opposes Amendment 1 on many grounds, but making the legal process more difficult for low-income women is one of the most important.

Still, she appreciates that at least with this vote, residents of Louisiana can have a direct contribution in a legislative battle.

“How do you mobilize people in the street on what is included in medical records (one of the requirements)? Said Bangel. “Most voters, most ordinary people across the country, seldom have the opportunity to have a personal impact.”

This is at least a point of agreement between Bangel and Clapper. The two inevitably offer lawmakers opposing views on each of the proposed restrictions that are subject to the Louisiana legislature.

“It makes this vote a unique moment,” he said.

About Catriona

Check Also

Cost of living: families in difficulty are targeted by a quick loan scam

Hardened families are set to lose money in a quick loan scam that has grown …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.