A bill introduced Wednesday by Louisiana lawmakers would classify abortion as a homicide, potentially allowing authorities to charge women and girls with murder and criminalize in vitro fertilization, critics said.
The bill, called the Louisiana Abortion Abolition Act, was approved 7-2 by a House subcommittee two days after Politico published a leaked Supreme Court draft opinion that suggested the court is point of overturning Roe v. Wade.
The bill will now go to a vote in the House of Representatives. The legislation would still need the support of the Senate and the governor before it can become law.
Speaking at a hearing Wednesday, the bill’s sponsor, Danny McCormick, likened the move to circumvent federal laws protecting abortion to state approval of medical marijuana.
“If more than 15 states can defy the federal government, we can do it to save the lives of innocent babies,” he said. “We cannot wait for the Supreme Court to confirm that innocent babies have a right to life.”
“Taking a life is murder and it is illegal,” he added.
The text of the bill, which says the legislation aims to “guarantee the right to life and equal protection of the laws for all unborn children from the moment of fertilization,” instructs the state to ignore the Federal abortion rulings, including Roe v. Wade and Planned. paternity vs. Casey.
Ellie Schilling, a Louisiana attorney who represents reproductive health care providers, said at the hearing that the bill would change state law to allow authorities to charge a pregnant woman with murder or criminal assault “in any gestation stage,” according to Reuters.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Louisiana called the account “blatantly unconstitutional” and said it would allow authorities to bring murder charges against people who abort or those who help them.
Chris Kaiser, the group’s advocacy director, said the bill could criminalize in vitro fertilization and various forms of birth control by defining an egg fertilized before implantation as a person, according to Reuters.
McCormick did not comment on the possibility of criminalizing IVF during Wednesday’s hearing. His office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.