Gov. Edwards’ Statement on the House Administration of Criminal Justice Committee’s Failure to Pass HB 346

Published 8:09 am Thursday, May 11, 2023

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BATON ROUGE, La. – Today, Gov. John Bel Edwards issued the following statement on House Bill 346 by Rep. Delisha Boyd, which failed to win approval in the House Administration of Criminal Justice Committee by a vote of 10-5. The bill, part of the Governor’s legislative agenda, would have added rape and incest exceptions to the state’s abortion law.

“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.”