White House criticizes Louisiana abortion bill as ‘radical’
The White House on Monday forcefully criticized a bill moving through the Louisiana state legislature that would ban most abortions and impose criminal penalties on doctors who perform the procedure if the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade.
“The Louisiana legislature has taken the latest step in a growing attack against the fundamental freedoms of Americans,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said in a statement.
“The President is committed to protecting the constitutional rights of Americans afforded by Roe for nearly 50 years, and ensuring that women can make their own choices about their lives, bodies, and families,” she continued. “An overwhelming majority of the American people agree and reject these kinds of radical measures.”
The Louisiana state Senate gave final approval to the bill on Sunday, sending to Gov. John Bel Edwards’s (D) desk. The Democratic governor, who opposes abortion, is expected to sign the bill into law.
The bill strengthens the so-called trigger law already on the books in Louisiana that would go into effect if Roe, the landmark 1973 decision that said the right to have an abortion is constitutionally protected, is overturned.
It would ban abortion in most cases without exceptions for rape or incest and would close the abortion clinics in the state. It does allow for abortions if a pregnancy threatens the mother’s life. Doctors who perform abortions would also be subject to criminal penalties.
Louisiana is one of more than a dozen states in the U.S. that have trigger laws in place that will take effect if Roe is overturned, which is expected to happen sometime later this month. A leaked Supreme Court draft opinion suggested the conservative majority was poised to overturn the landmark ruling.
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