Louisiana’s Republican-led House stopped a measure that would have allowed women who obtain abortions to be charged with murder. The proposal, approved by a committee last week, sought to recognize a fertilized embryo as a person and made it possible for both doctors and pregnant women to be charged with homicide if they performed or received an abortion, reports the Wall Street Journal. The bill, which proposed the harshest abortion ban in the U.S., caused friction among Louisiana Republicans. A majority voted to remove provisions allowing murder charges, saying the state already had strong laws to prevent abortions.
Politicians around the U.S. have pushed for new laws either restricting or protecting abortion, in advance of an upcoming U.S. Supreme Court ruling that may overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 case that established a constitutional right to an abortion. Louisiana has a so-called trigger law enacted 16 years ago that would ban most abortions if the Supreme Court overturns Roe. Many conservative states have laid the groundwork to ban most abortions if Roe is overturned. This year so far, half-a-dozen states have enacted legislation banning abortion, according to the Guttmacher Institute, which says that about 22 states are poised to ban or heavily restrict abortion if Roe v. Wade is overturned.