Louisiana Right to Life defends state’s abortion law

Published: Oct. 31, 2022 at 5:55 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 31, 2022 at 6:19 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Ben Clapper, spokesperson for Louisiana Right to Life, played a significant role in drafting Louisiana’s current abortion law. He spent Monday, Oct. 31 defending it.

“I would just like to address that our laws are very clear. They’ve always been aimed at protecting babies from intentional elective abortions,” said Clapper.

The Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) identified exceptions to that rule allowing a woman to have an abortion if conditions are unsustainable with life or “medically futile.” Since the exceptions were announced, there have been calls to add rape and incest to the list, including by Governor John Bel Edwards.

“I do believe we need a rape and incest exception as well,” said Gov. Edwards last week.

Expecting the question, Clapper was prepared.

“As we consider this incredibly difficult issue, it’s important that we turn to a core principle of the pro-life cause. The circumstances of a child’s conception have no bearing on his or her human dignity and do not impair his or her right to life,” Clapper continued.

Though the organization has no plans to help add the two exceptions, Clapper says one of the most important things lawmakers can do is work to increase funding for resources.

“Those resources obviously include pregnancy help centers, but they also include a variety of other assistance such as housing assistance, financial assistance, employment assistance, and so much more that someone can access,” Clapper explained.

Yet still, many doctors have come forward concerned about losing their license to practice or face criminal charges if they perform the wrong life-saving treatment. And Right to Life’s words, “the dust just needs time to settle.” Part of what Clapper says was the organization’s frustration with Roe v. Wade to begin with.

“In that it becomes an issue where there’s no buildup in our legislature to handle these issues because Roe v. Wade takes away the right of a state to address these issues until bam, in one quick fast swoop the paradigm shifts,” said Clapper.

In response to some of Clapper’s statements, Planned Parenthood issued a statement saying, “Every single person deserves access to sexual and reproductive health care no matter their income, immigration status, or zip code.”

The next legislative session begins April 10, 2023.

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