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The Breakdown: La. Republicans vote down rape, incest exceptions to abortion ban

Republicans in a La. House Committee voted down two bills which would have made exceptions and allowed rape and incest survivors to end their pregnancies.

Louisiana House Republicans have killed two bills that would have added rape and incest exceptions to its abortion ban.

Since Roe v. Wade was overturned in June of last year, the State of Louisiana has been under a near-total abortion ban. It’s one of the strictest abortion laws in the country.

Wednesday, Republicans in the Louisiana House Committee on Criminal Justice voted down two bills which would have made exceptions and allowed rape and incest survivors to end their pregnancies.

House Bill 346 was written by Representative Delisha Boyd of New Orleans, who testified she was born after her mother was raped at just 15 years old by a man in his late 20s.

Rep. Boyd said, “If we are really pro-life, we have to be concerned with the children. The children who are conceived in trauma, born into trauma, and then lived in trauma.”

Rape survivors, advocates, and even a doctor who said her 14-year-old pregnant patient had been raped by her uncle, all testified in favor of the bill.

But opponents said an abortion after rape adds insult to injury.

One dissenter said, “You don’t want to victimize them yet a second time, with the loss of the life that the Lord put in their womb to give them.”

Those two bills for exceptions were voted down by all Republicans on the committee.

Two more bills concerning abortion were deferred before a vote, when it became clear they would fail in the largely conservative committee.

HB598 would clarify language surrounding doctor’s ability to treat miscarriages. HB522 would lower legal penalties for doctors who perform illegal abortions.

Some Louisiana physicians have said since the abortion ban created steep criminal penalties for those who perform abortions, they’ve feared treating some women having miscarriages or ectopic pregnancies.

Louisiana already has one of the highest maternal death rates in the developed world, according to the World Health Organization.

The two deferred bills may be referred to a different committee to be considered.

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