Louisianans voted YES on Amendment 1, what it means moving forward

The amendment does not guarantee rights for abortion.
Voters line up outside the Glendale Community College polling center. Despite heavy turnout,...
Voters line up outside the Glendale Community College polling center. Despite heavy turnout, and record-breaking early voting, officials reported smooth voting around the state, and said fears of voter intimidation operations did not materialize.(Cronkite News)
Updated: Nov. 4, 2020 at 7:25 PM CST
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SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) - About 62% of counted Louisiana ballots have “yes” bubbled in next to Amendment 1.

This amendment says the state’s constitution cannot be interpreted to protect the right to abortions and/or require funding for abortion.

Dr. Steven Procopio is the director of policy for the Public Affairs Research Council of Louisiana. He said the amendment will not have immediate implications in the state.

“This doesn’t actually ban abortion. It doesn’t make abortion illegal, it doesn’t legalize abortion,” he explained. “It’s a proactive measure to prevent a judicial decision for making abortion legal in the state.”

Procopio said abortion opponents feared the constitution could be interpreted in such a way that would allow abortions due to the privacy and due process clauses. There is currently no language specific to abortions in the constitution.

However, Louisiana is a “trigger state," because it already has a law in place that would ban abortion if Roe v. Wade were to ever be overturned.

“Then, that would send it back to the states to make a determination,” Procopio said.

Therefore, he said, Amendment 1 would prevent the allowance of abortion, should states ever have the power to make their own guidelines.

In an emailed statement to KSLA, the spokeswoman for Hope Medical Group for Women Kathaleen Pittman wrote:

“Given the deliberate & confusing phrasing of the amendment, we are not shocked at its passage. The recent appointment of [Amy] Barrett is absolutely cause for concern. In the event Roe is overturned, abortion in Louisiana will become illegal due to Louisiana’s “trigger” ban. Passage of this amendment would make it even more difficult to obtain an abortion even in cases of rape or incest. Once again our poor and marginalized communities will be affected most. Politicians & families with means will do what they have always done....send their loved ones out of state for abortion care. Louisiana women already struggling to care for their families will be the ones to suffer.”

There are three abortion clinics in Louisiana: Hope Medical Group for Women (Shreveport), Delta Clinic of Baton Rouge and Women’s Health Care Center, Inc. (New Orleans).

The amendment has no exceptions for cases involving rape, incest or the mother’s risk of death.

For more information on Amendment 1, click here.

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