Louisiana’s Amendment 1 generates more controversy in abortion fight

There's a lot at stake with Amendment 1 on election ballots Nov. 3 in Louisiana

SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) — The landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling of Roe vs. Wade, which legalized abortion in 1973, is in the headlines more and more recently. Right now, it’s a key Democratic talking point in the confirmation hearing of Amy Coney Barrett, with fears that she could lead to it being overturned.

Earlier this year, the Supreme Court rejected a Louisiana law that would have required doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital.

In less than three weeks, Louisiana voters will decide on Constitutional Amendment 1, regarding abortion.

Supporters call it a major step forward in the fight for life, while critics demean the measure as a monumental waste of time because they contend it won’t do anything new.

Amendment 1 would declare that a right to abortion and the funding of abortion shall not be found in the Louisiana Constitution.

The courts in 13 states have already ruled their constitutions do permit a woman to choose, but Louisiana’s proposed amendment has a lot of grass-roots support.

That includes Jodi Burns, executive director at Heart of Hope Ministries, a Christian-based maternity home in Keithville for pregnant females 11-23 old.

“Voting yes on Love Life Amendment 1 is, will assure that we keep abortion out of our state constitution, that we will not have tax dollars going to fund abortion," said Burns.

The amendment is also described as a trigger to outlaw abortion in Louisiana if Roe v. Wade were to ever be overturned.

Kathaleen Pittman, administrator of Hope Medical Group for Women on Kings Highway in Shreveport, released a statement that details a trigger law already in place that was approved in 2006.

“Amendment 1 takes it even further in that it carries no exceptions for rape or incest," said Pittman.

For Jodi Burns and the many other supporters of the amendment, this is just one part of a much larger statewide effort.

“What we’re talking about is Louisiana continues to stay a pro-life state. We are the number one pro-life state in America!" said Burns.

As for the amendment’s stipulation that no federal or state funds pay for abortion services, Pittman has her theories about that portion of the measure.

Since it is already against Louisiana law for such funding for abortions, Pittman says the only logical explanation for its inclusion is simply an election tactic to influence voters who might be right on the line on whether to support the amendment.

The political calculus being that hearing of taxpayer money paying for an abortion can illicit a strong response, and even serve as a voter’s final straw that leads them to support the amendment.

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