Louisiana lawmakers drop murder penalty for women in controversial abortion bill

Louisiana lawmakers drop murder penalty for women in controversial abortion bill
Abortion rights activist protest outside of the U.S. Supreme Court Tuesday, May 3, 2022 in Washington.Jose Luis Magana/AP
  • Louisiana lawmakers removed a provision of an anti-abortion bill, which criminalized abortions.
  • The state House voted 65-26 on Thursday against the measure, The AP reported.

Louisiana lawmakers dropped the murder penalty for women included in a controversial abortion bill, which the GOP-led House passed just days after the leaked SCOTUS draft opinion.

The purpose of HB 813, titled the Abolition of Abortion in Louisiana Act, was to "ensure the right to life and equal protection of the laws to all unborn children from the moment of fertilization by protecting them by the same laws protecting other human beings."

The state House voted 65-26 on Thursday to revise the legislation to remove a controversial provision that would charge those who receive abortions with murder, The Associated Press reported. Democrats who are anti-abortion, such as Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards, even called the bill "absurd."

Edwards also threatened to veto the measure, per The AP.

The sponsor of the bill, GOP state Rep. Danny McCormick, called abortion "murder," according to The AP.


"The vast majority in this room claim to be pro-life, yet today, when Roe is on the chopping block and we have the clear opportunity to end abortion in our state, we are faltering and trying to explain it away," said McCormick, per NBC News.

This comes after the opinion published by Politico earlier this month appeared to show that the Supreme Court is poised to overturn Roe. v. Wade — which gives women the right to an abortion. It was later confirmed that the document is genuine, but it has yet to be finalized.

Louisiana is one of the states that plan to ban abortion if the landmark ruling is reversed.

Anti-abortion groups also blasted the bill, including Louisiana Right to Life, the Louisiana Conference of Catholic Bishops, and the National Right to Life Committee, per The AP.

NBC News reported that GOP state Rep. Alan Seabaugh also criticized the bill, calling it "unconstitutional."


"We're on the precipice of the most significant pro-life victory in this country in 50 years. We should be celebrating together," Seabaugh said on Thursday, per the outlet.

"We should not be at each other's throats over a bill that is blatantly unconstitutional, makes criminals out of women, would not prevent a single abortion, and, as far as I can tell, was only presented to give a couple of misguided people a platform."