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'Deeply disappointed:' Governor Edwards issues statement about failure of bill to add rape and incest exceptions for abortions

1 year 2 months 1 week ago Wednesday, May 10 2023 May 10, 2023 May 10, 2023 5:33 PM May 10, 2023 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE -One by one, bills that would change the rules regarding abortion fell by the wayside during a House Committee meeting on Wednesday. 

Rep. Delisha Boyd, a Democrat representing Orleans Parish, authored a bill to add exceptions for victims of rape and incest to be allowed abortions. The bill was killed.

"My mother most likely had been violated as early as 13, considering she gave birth to me at 15. What I can tell you now that I'm in my 50's, she never recovered from that. She was dead when she was 28 years old," Boyd said.

Her emotional testimony wasn't enough to get the bill out of Comittee and be heard on the House floor. 

Rep. Cedric Glover authored a similar measure, which was killed as well. 

"It does not matter how many people we get to come into the room and say that 75 percent of Louisiana's support an exception for rape and incest. They don't care. It is their way of the highway," Rep. Denise Marcelle, (D) East Baton Rouge Parish, said.

The room was packed with people for and against the proposals. An emotional discussion for all.

"In that situation, it would be very traumatic, I may not know who the daddy was, but I would for sure know who the grand daddy was," Woody Jenkins responded to Rep. Knox question about what he would do if his own daughter was going to be a mother after a horrific rape.

Governor John Bel Edwards released a statement Wednesday evening saying the decisions were "deeply disturbing," an argued that the failure disagrees with the "vast majority of Louisianans." 

Read the following statement here: 

“I am deeply disappointed in today’s vote. The committee’s decision to prevent this important bill from being debated by the full house is both unfortunate and contrary to the position of a vast majority of Louisianans, who support these exceptions. I want to thank Rep. Delisha Boyd for authoring this bill and sharing her very personal story. Louisiana is a pro-life state, which I and many others are proud of. But being pro-life can also include having basic empathy for women and young girls who are the victims of rape and incest. I simply do not understand how we as a state can tell any victim that she must be forced by law to carry her rapist’s baby to term, regardless of the impact on her own physical or mental health, the wishes of her parents, or the medical judgment of her physician. As I have said before, rape and incest exceptions protect crime victims. We must do all that we can to protect them and sadly, the committee failed to do so today.”

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