The Supreme Court’s potential decision to overturn Roe v. Wade would result the immediate gutting of reproductive rights across conservative America, but some states are already taking action. The Louisiana state House Appropriations Committee on Wednesday advanced a bill that would make abortion a homicide, opening the door for mothers who terminate a pregnancy in the state to be charged with murder.
“We can’t wait on the Supreme Court,” said Republican Rep. Danny McCormick, who co-authored the bill with a Baptist reverend.
House Bill 813, also known as the “Abolition of Abortion in Louisiana Act of 2022,” would not only makes abortion a homicide, it would make it a homicide “from the moment of fertilization.” The fertilized cluster of cells, the bill states, would be afforded all the protections of a human being.
The bill also holds that “any and all federal statutes, regulations, treaties, orders, and court rulings which would deprive an unborn child of the right to life or prohibit the equal protection of such right” would be treated as void. It later notes that the bill would be enforced “without regard to the opinions and judgments of the Supreme Court of the United States in Roe v. Wade and its judicial progeny, past and future.”
The implication here is that H.B. 813 would be valid regardless of whether the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade. Bradley Pierce of the Foundation to Abolish Abortion said as much, according to the Lafayette Daily Adviser: “If the Supreme Court ignores the Constitution, you should ignore the court. The Legislature has the right to disregard the Supreme Court.”
The Constitution also states that judicial power should be vested in the Supreme Court, of course, but that doesn’t seem to be of much concern to the bill’s proponents. The leaked draft of the decision to overturn Roe gave them a taste of gutting reproductive rights, and they can’t help themselves. “No compromises; no more waiting,” Rev. Brian Gunter, the bill’s clerical co-author, said. “The bloodshed in our land is so great we have a duty … to protect the least of these among us.”
H.B. 813, which passed through committee by a 7-2 vote, will now move to the House floor for debate.