Mississippi’s abortion law heard by the Supreme Court has major implications for Louisiana

La. has a law on the books with similar restrictions on the timeline for abortions
Published: Dec. 1, 2021 at 7:01 PM CST
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U.S. Supreme Court heard Mississippi's abortion law on Wednesday and if the law is upheld it...
U.S. Supreme Court heard Mississippi's abortion law on Wednesday and if the law is upheld it would trigger a similar Louisiana law.

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Pro-life and pro-choice forces agree that if the U.S. Supreme Court upholds Mississippi’s strict abortion law a similar Louisiana law will take effect.

Soon, after the Supreme Court ended its hearing on Mississippi’s abortion law pro-life forces gathered in New Orleans to say they look forward to the day when abortion is illegal and some extolled parenthood.

Angie Thomas is associate director of Louisiana Right to Life.

“That is a direct challenge to Roe vs. Wade,” said Thomas.

Kim Schultz says she gave birth as a teen.

“At 15 years old I was faced with an unplanned pregnancy and was pressured to have an abortion,” she said.

Through tears, she spoke of the son she gave birth to instead.

“He has brought so much joy and love to my life and to his family and so I just want to say to any woman who thinks that abortion is the only way and there’s no hope, it’s a lie. There is hope, there’s support, there’s love,” she said.

Mississippi’s law would limit abortions to women who are 15-weeks pregnant or less.

Another pro-life advocate spoke of having an abortion in New Orleans years ago because she did not know resources to help her were available.

“I didn’t know with whom I could talk. I didn’t see a pregnancy center readily available and the person to whom I turned to advice said, well, I know somebody who works at an abortion clinic, she can get you a discount, so I went and got my discounted abortion and I regretted my abortion later and I have talked to hundreds of women around our state who regret those abortions,” she said.

Louisiana has a similar law that would be triggered if Mississippi’s law is upheld.

“Louisiana currently has a law, it’s a 15-week ban very similar to Mississippi’s law that is intricately dependent on this so, if the court upholds the law in Mississippi, Louisiana will also have 15-week protection of unborn children,” said Thomas.

Michell Erenberg is with Lift Louisiana and opposes efforts to make abortion illegal.

“Louisiana passed an identical law a couple of years ago and in that law, they actually tied the effective date of that law to an outcome in the Mississippi case, so if the Supreme Court were to uphold Mississippi’s law then Louisiana’s 15-week ban would also go into effect,” Erenberg stated.

Pro-life advocates say there are resources to help women who carry to term. “We’re ready to do that, some of the ways that we do that is to provide material resources to women,” said Rachel Adair, Executive Director of Northlake Crisis Pregnancy Center.

But Erenberg doubts that.

“Absolutely not,” said Erenberg. “Being forced to carry a pregnancy to term if it’s not your decision can have a severe economic impact on women and we live in a state in which more a quarter of children live in poverty as well as women, so I think that is an argument that is quite disingenuous because Louisiana clearly doesn’t have the resources to be able for care for every single pregnancy brought to terms.”

And pro-choice forces say the women who will be hurt the most if Roe v. Wade goes away are women who have low incomes.

“We know that women of means are going to be able to have the resources and find a way to go to another state that still has a protective right to abortion but the people that are going to be most impacted are poor women,” said Erenberg.

Thomas said they are encouraged after the court hearing.

A ruling is not expected until June.

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