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Republicans and Democrats come out against bill charging women who get abortions with murder

“This is a little bit of showmanship that makes murderers out of women,” Representative Michael Echols told KNOE.
Published: May. 12, 2022 at 5:16 PM CDT
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MONROE, La. (KNOE) - A bill making its way through the Louisiana Legislature, which would charge women who get abortions with murder, is meeting resistance from both sides of the aisle.

“This bill is nothing more than showmanship by Representative McCormick to try to gain some type of media attention,” Representative Michael Echols (R-14) told KNOE.

“We’ve always sought to protect children, babies, and women who find themselves in this vulnerable situation,” Senator Katrina Jackson (D-34) explained.

The bill, which advanced out of a House Committee, is up for debate on the House Floor on May 12.

Echols, who considers himself pro-life, says House Bill 813 goes too far.

“This is a little bit of showmanship by Representative McCormick that makes murderers out of women,” Echols told KNOE’s Tyler Englander. “It’s a terrible bill. The bill sets up a posture. That would make you be able to charge a woman for murder for taking birth control for doing very proactive things that women do.”

Echols prefers Senator Katrina Jackson’s bill, which would penalize abortion providers, not mothers.

“The person performing the abortion makes a very conscious decision to take that life,” Jackson explained. “There are no surrounding factors for that person. They make a very conscious decision to violate the law.”

Currently, the bill doesn’t have provisions exempting women who are victims of rape or incest.

Both Echols and Jackson believe that in addition to outlawing abortion, the Legislature should focus on providing more resources supporting adoption and the socio-economic challenges parents face.

“Not only to pass legislation that would make abortion illegal in this state, but also pass meaningful legislation and budget items that would help women and children,” explained Senator Jackson.

Governor John Bel Edwards and Louisiana Right to Life, one of the state’s largest pro-life groups, have come out against the bill that would charge women who get abortions with murder.

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