The Louisiana House voted to drastically rewrite a bill that would have allowed women who have abortions to be charged with murder.
The controversial House Bill 813 that was beaten back by both sides of the abortion struggle is now being renewed. The bill could have sent abortion-seeking women and abortion providers to jail, ban certain contraceptive methods, and make some aspects of in vitro fertilization illegal.
House members voted 65-26 to rewrite the bill and replace it with language from another anti-abortion bill already passed by the Senate, proposed by Democratic Senator Karina Jackson.
The bill, as amended, will include jail terms and fines for abortion providers if the Supreme Court decides to quash Roe to Wade. However, the modified version differs from the original in that it exempts women who have abortions from criminal charges.
Under the amended law, abortion providers can face up to 10 years in prison and a $10,000 to $100,000 fine for performing an abortion on a person less than 15 weeks pregnant.
“This is a thorny political issue, but we all know it’s actually quite simple. Abortion is murder,” the bill’s author, Representative Danny McCormick, said, according to the Associated Press.
McCormick chided fellow anti-abortion lawmakers who voted against his measure.
“The vast majority of this chamber claims to be pro-life, but today, when… roe is on the chopping block and we have a clear opportunity to end abortion in our state, we are hesitating and trying to explain it away,” McCormick said.
Representative Alan Seabaugh, an anti-abortion Republican, voted in favor of the bill in its original language last week but rejected his support on Thursday.
“We shouldn’t be at each other’s throats over a bill that is blatantly unconstitutional, criminalizes women, would not prevent any abortion, and, as far as I know, was introduced only to give a few misguided people a platform,” Seabaugh said. , according to Gambit†
Aside from McCormick’s bill, the House Criminal Justice Committee voted 6-4 last month to bring down another bill that would have protected women who tried to terminate their pregnancies from criminal charges.
“In the case that Roe v. Wade destroyed, we’re going to have women who want to terminate a pregnancy and try to do it on their own,” said the bill’s sponsor, Representative Mandie Landry, according to Louisiana Illuminator.
“We don’t want a woman to stay home and bleed to death,” she said. “We want her to go to the doctor.”
Louisiana is one of 13 states with a ‘trigger law’ that would immediately ban abortion if Supreme Court reverses roethe 1973 ruling establishing federally protected abortion rights.
Newsweek reached out to McCormick for comment.