Louisiana House panel votes to ban abortion

By Sahil Kapur
Wednesday, May 25, 2011 12:41 EDT
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A House committee in Louisiana voted Tuesday to ban abortions, a controversial move that sends the bill to the floor for debate.

The House Bill 587, sponsored by Republican state Rep. John LaBruzzo, would expand the parameters of the feticide crime to include for voluntarily aborted fetuses, according to The Associated Press.

It’s unclear whether the bill can pass either chamber in the legislature or be signed into law. Even if it does, it would face a serious challenge in the courts. LaBruzzo admits that pro-choice organizations will say it violates the Supreme Court’s landmark Roe v. Wade ruling in 1973.

The measure would also forbid Louisiana Medicaid funds from being used for abortions even in cases of rape or incest, a move that could endanger the state’s eligibility for Medicaid funding from Washington, AP reported.

The proposal, which passed the Health and Welfare committee 10-2, is the latest in a series of recent Republican attempts at curtailing abortion rights nationwide. Various states have taken up anti-abortion measures, and the GOP-led U.S. House of Representatives voted this month to create disincentives for businesses to cover employees with health insurance plans that include abortion care.

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