The Louisiana Senate on Tuesday approved a state constitutional amendment declaring that citizens do not have a constitutional right to an abortion by a vote of 31-4.
The bill explicitly outlines that “nothing in this constitution shall be construed to secure or protect a right to abortion or require the funding of abortion.” The proposed amendment would effectively ban abortion in Louisiana only if the US Supreme Court were to overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark decision that legalized abortion nationwide and guaranteed the right as fundamental.
In order to pass state constitutional amendments, a proposed amendment must be presented to the general public for a vote and receive a majority. Originally presented to the Louisiana House of Representatives, the bill passed and was subsequently sent to the Senate. The Senate has since added language that secured lawmakers the right to regulate and pass laws about abortion. Senators argued that they can enact exceptions to abortion limits when necessary to protect the life of a pregnant woman or those pregnancies resulting from rape or incest.
Now, the bill will return back to the House for final approval. If approved, the constitutional amendment will be proposed to the public for a vote as soon as October.