Abortion: Louisiana's Punching Bag

Governor Blanco says would sign ban on abortion that is moving through hurricane-battered state’s senate

If you read an Associated Press interview with Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco on June 1, you might be under the impression that the Gulf Coast state has little in the way of, oh, say, hurricane rebuilding to do – including the consequent social service rehabbing – freeing state lawmakers to take up far weightier matters, like criminalizing safe and legal abortion services. Yes, that's right: During an interview last week Blanco said she would sign a ban on abortion that is moving through the state Senate. The bill would place a near-total ban on abortion, including an exception to the law only in cases where a woman's life is at risk, but the bill does not include an exception in cases of rape or incest. Such exceptions would have "been reasonable," Blanco told the AP, but said she wouldn't reject the measure just because they weren't included.

If the bill makes it to Blanco's hand, and she actually signs it, the measure will likely then travel to Washington, D.C., for a date with the U.S. Supreme Court, which would have to overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade reproductive rights decision in order to become law. Earlier this year South Dakota lawmakers passed a similar ban, which is wending its way to the Supremes. Under the Louisiana measure, which passed out of the state house last week on an 85-17 vote, doctors that violate the ban would face up to 10 years in prison and up to a $100,000 fine.

Not surprisingly, news of Blanco's position did not sit well with Planned Parenthood of Louisiana and the Mississippi Delta. "Elected officials should stop playing politics with women's safety and start paying attention to the needs of this state," said Julie Mickelberry, public affairs director of the state Planned Parenthood. "We need homes, good education, and sound health-care policy. We don't need laws that threaten women's health." would sign ban on abortion that is moving through hurricane-battered state's senate

  • More of the Story

  • Naked City

    Headlines and happenings from Austin and beyond

    Anarchist Soccer Rules

    Local anarcho-athletes to travel overseas for Anti-Racist World Cup

    Kinky News

    Independent gubernatorial candidate Kinky Friedman announces seven-point political reform agenda designed to get politicians out of politics and to open political process "to the people"
  • Can the Y Be Fixed?

    "Community alliance" of Oak Hill residents, anti-toll activists, and Austin environmentalists gets first shot next week at convincing CAMPO to reconsider TXDOT's plans for the "Y"

    APD's Follmer Fired

    APD's Follmer Fired Rookie officer let go for role in September official oppression arrest.

    Radnofsky Talks

    Democratic U.S. Senate hopeful Barbara Ann Radnofsky Courts Austin

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More by Jordan Smith
'Chrome Underground' Goes Classic Car Hunting
'Chrome Underground' Goes Classic Car Hunting
Motoreum's Yusuf & Antonio talk about the biz and their reality TV debut

May 22, 2014

APD Brass Shifts Up, Down, Across
APD Brass Shifts Up, Down, Across
Musical chairs at Downtown HQ

May 9, 2014


abortionLouisiana, Kathleen Blanco, ban on abortion, Roe v. Wade, Planned Parenthood of Louisiana and the Mississippi Delta, Julie Mickelberry

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle