LOUISIANA (KLFY) — Friday morning, the Supreme Court made a historic decision to strike down Roe v. Wade, giving each state the authority to limit or ban abortions. Louisiana leaders have already begun responding to the decision, some offering praise.
In its opinion on Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the majority of Supreme Court Justices declared that Roe v. Wade and Casey v. Planned Parenthood were wrongly decided. The 6-3 decision is expected to elicit political and emotional responses across the nation. Here’s what some of Louisiana’s political officials have said in response so far.
Attorney General Jeff Landry said Louisiana’s trigger law on abortion is effective immediately, banning abortions in the state. He called the decision a victory for mothers and unborn babies. His statement is as follows:
This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice in it and be glad. Today, along with millions across Louisiana and America, I rejoice with my departed Mom and the unborn children with her in Heaven!AG Jeff Landry
The Supreme Court has finally returned to the Constitution and delegated power back to the people. Our State’s representatives, held accountable by their constituents, should – and now again can – determine abortion policy not the federal government.
As noted in both my legal brief to the Supreme Court and the majority’s opinion: the Constitution makes no reference to abortion, and no such right is implicitly protected by any constitutional provision.
Because of the Court’s ruling in this case about a Mississippi law limiting abortions after 15 weeks of gestation with exceptions for health emergencies and fetal abnormalities, Louisiana’s trigger law banning abortion is now in effect.
My office and I will do everything in our power to ensure the laws of Louisiana that have been passed to protect the unborn are enforceable, even if we have to go back to court.
As the chief legal officer for our State, I will continue defending Louisiana’s pro-life laws and working to ensure the health and safety of women and their babies.
Senator Bill Cassidy also agreed with the decision, saying that it recognizes unborn children have a right to life.
“Being pro-life means being pro-mothers, pro-babies, and pro-healthy futures—a philosophy I carry with me in the Senate. This is a deeply emotional issue for many Americans, no matter which side one stands, but it is now up to individual states to enact their own policies.”Sen. Bill Cassidy
Cassidy also introduced legislation this week that would criminalize individuals who leak confidential information from the Supreme Court. The act, entitled “Stop Supreme Court Leakers Act,” would require a $10,000 fine and impose up to a 10-year sentence on those who leak information from the Court. It would also enforce a seizure of profits derived from a leak, which could include book deals, television contracts, etc.
The proposed legislation comes after a draft of the Supreme Court’s opinion on Roe v. Wade was leaked last month.
This week, Gov. John Bel Edwards signed a controversial abortion bill into law ahead of the expected SCOTUS decision. Senate Bill 342, penned by Senator Katrina Jackson, criminalizes doctors for performing abortions. The bill does not make exceptions for rape or incest.
Edwards called himself “pro-life” but stands firm in the belief that there should be an exception to the prohibition of abortion for victims of rape and incest. However, he said vetoing the bill would not accomplish that end and would leave fewer exceptions in place when the bill becomes law, which was pending the overturning of Roe v. Wade.
Under Senate Bill 342, doctors can face thousands of dollars in fines and years in prison should they perform abortions if the Supreme Court makes a move to remove protections for abortions. The bill passed overwhelmingly in both the Louisiana House and Senate before making it to Edwards’ desk for his signature.
Edwards echoed the same sentiment in an official statement his office released in response to the SCOTUS’s decision today.
I am and have always been unabashedly pro-life and opposed to abortion. However, I understand that people on both sides of this complex issue hold deeply personal beliefs, and I respect that not everyone, including many in my own party, agrees with my position.
While we are still reviewing the decision issued by the Court this morning, Louisiana has had a trigger law in place since 2006 that would outlaw abortion, without exception for rape and incest, should the United States Supreme Court overturn Roe v. Wade.
I asked the Legislature to include exceptions for rape and incest in the legislation most recently passed. While the bill that passed expanded the exceptions from the 2006 law to include instances of medical futility and treatment of ectopic pregnancies, these important exceptions were not included.
As I have said many times before, I believe women who are survivors of rape or incest should be able determine whether to continue with a pregnancy that is the result of a criminal act.
And, to be clear, the legislation I recently signed protects all forms of contraception, including emergency contraception, which remains fully legal and available in Louisiana.
Being pro-life means more than just being against abortion. It means providing the necessary resources and implementing policies that provide real options and not just lip service to the children, women, and families we are blessed to serve. Now more than ever, it’s critical that Louisiana funds services to support women, children, and families throughout their lives, which is why I have expanded health care through our Medicaid program and lobbied for measures to make sure workers are paid better and more fairly. It’s also why I’ve supported better funding for Louisiana’s public education system, including early childhood education. I believe all people should have the opportunity to succeed and that starts with providing a strong foundation early in life. Make no mistake, there is much more that we can do to support women, children, and families, and I hope that my fellow pro-life public officials will join me in these efforts in the coming months and years.Gov. Edwards
U.S. Representative Mike Johnson (LA-04) calls the decision historic and joyful, saying the Supreme Court corrected an “egregious error” and returned the decision of abortion to the people and their elected representatives.
No real ‘constitutional right’ to abortion ever existed. The Court invented it out of thin air. House Republicans will continue to stand for the sanctity of human life and hold the Biden Administration accountable for any future attempt to impede the policy decisions of pro-life states.Rep. Mike Johnson
Senator John Kennedy celebrated the decision. Here’s his statement:
Despite attempts to intimidate the justices, they did their work. Roe v. Wade has misrepresented the Constitution since the ruling was rendered, and today’s decision to return the issue of abortion to the American people and the states corrects a legal and moral error. Louisianians have worked for a long time to have this freedom that is rightly and constitutionally theirs. I am very pleased with today’s decision.Sen. John Kennedy
State Representative Mandie Landry is not optimistic about the ruling. She said in a statement that this decision could potentially open the door for similar decisions that would negatively affect women and other minority groups. Her full statement is below.
Women are going to die.
The end of Roe v. Wade marks the end of women’s freedom in Louisiana as we know it. Louisiana’s trigger laws will close all three clinics immediately, leaving thousands without necessary care. Our state has, and will continue to, look to criminalize and prosecute women who seek abortions or even miscarry. This is a devastating day for Louisiana and America.
“This decision also signals what is to come— further attacks on women, the poor, Black people, the LGBTQ community, and others whose rights are already so thinly protected. As a lawyer, I am beyond disappointed in the Supreme Court’s decision. As a legislator, I am terrified at the open season our legislature will have on women, Black people, and the poor. I always promise this: I am and will continue to be a fierce advocate for those who seek to terminate a pregnancy. “While today is a sad, scary day, let this be a rallying call to all who support a woman’s right to choose. We must come together and fight to protect women’s healthcare and choiceRep. Mandie Landry
This story will continue to be updated.