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Future of controversial anti-abortion bill uncertain after lawmakers vote to amend it

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BATON ROUGE -- A state lawmaker who authored a bill that would have allowed women to be prosecuted if they end a pregnancy pulled back the proposed legislation after the House of Representatives voted to amend it.

The amended bill would essentially reaffirm current law that would outlaw abortions if Roe v. Wade is overturned

State Rep. Danny McCormick, R-Oil City, who authored House Bill 813, made the decision to table, for now, the bill after the amendment passed 65-26. It can still possibly be voted on later during the session.

"This is a thorny political question," McCormick told the House while arguing for his bill's passage. "But abortion is murder. As lawmakers, we have a responsibility to end it."

The House stood at ease for more than an hour as Republican lawmakers worked behind the scenes to rework the bill, which Gov. John Bel Edwards described as "patently unconstitutional."

Louisiana already has laws on the books criminalizing performing abortion, including a "trigger law" ensuring that it will be a crime if the Supreme Court reverses Roe vs. Wade.

"The unborn will be protected in Louisiana," Rep. Alan Seabaugh, R-Shreveport, said of the trigger laws.

Seabaugh, who authored the amendment, called the bill as originally written unconstitutional and apologized that it made it to the full House for debate. "This bill criminalizes women."

This is a developing story. Check back for more details as they become available.

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