By Richard Meek

The Catholic Commentator

A legislative session focused, primarily by law, on fiscal concerns will also have a bevy of other issues to consider, including significant pro-life legislation.

Perhaps the most high-profile bill is the “Love Life Amendment,” co-sponsored by Rep. Katrina Jackson and Sen. Beth Mizell, which would allow that nothing in the constitution shall be construed to secure or protect a right to abortion. Additionally, the amendment would prohibit requiring funding for an abortion.

“The bill is an exciting step in the right direction,” said Danielle Van Haute, Respect Life Coordinator for the Diocese of Baton Rouge. “This Constitutional Amendment would prevent the state court from being able to establish the right to abortion or tax funding for abortion.”

“I feel confident that this amendment can pass,” she added. “The fundamental human right is the right to life. Any law claiming a ‘right’ to destroy life undermines all others. I think the people of Louisiana understand that.”

If approved by lawmakers, the “Love Life Amendment” would go to the voters Nov. 16.

“Our polling data shows that 70 percent of Louisianans self-identify as pro-life,” Benjamin Clapper, Executive Director of Louisiana Right to Life, said “It’s time our citizens placed our pro-life principles at the heart of our state by passing the Love Life Amendment. Our new Louisiana Pro-Life Amendment Coalition will be leading the effort to pass this amendment, and we look forward to visiting with voters across Louisiana to gain their support for the amendment.”

Jackson said her amendment assures there is no right to an abortion or taxpayer funding of abortion in the state constitution. She said approval by voters would prevent Louisiana from following in the footsteps of New York, which recently legalized abortion up to the very moment before birth.

Mizell has also filed the Women’s Right to Know Law, which would essentially require the name of the physician who will perform an abortion be listed on a written document in the same manner as the name appears on the membership roll of the Louisiana State Board of Medical Examiners, the local and specialty of the physician’s residence and whether the residency has been completed, whether the physician is currently board certified and if so the name of the certifying organization, whether the physician has active admitting privileges at any hospital that provides obstetrical or gynecological health services and the names of the hospitals, whether the physician has malpractice insurance that would cover the abortion procedure and whether in the past 10 years the physician has ever been placed on probation, reprimanded or had his license suspended or revoked by any professional licensing organization.

Rep. Frank Hoffman has filed a bill that would redefine the term “abortion” for the purpose of the Outpatient Abortion Facility Licensing Law. The bill would remove the term “any surgical procedure after pregnancy” with the intent to cause the termination of a live birth to “the act of using or prescribing any instrument, medicine, drug or any other substance, device, or means with the intent to terminate the clinically diagnosable pregnancy of a woman” with knowledge that those means will, with “reasonable likelihood” cause the death of the unborn child.

The session convened April 8 and must end no later than 6 p.m. June 6.