BATON ROUGE, Louisiana, June 10, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com)—A bill that would have revised the state of Louisiana’s definition of criminal feticide to include abortion was taken up by the State House on Wednesday, but met with defeat thanks to one Democrat’s invocation of the Hyde Amendment, reported Personhood USA on Thursday.
Louisiana House Bill HB645 would have banned every form of abortion, including those committed against children conceived by rape or incest, and prohibited the prescribing of abortion-inducing drugs.
But Democrat Rep. Jim Fannon made a motion to recommit the bill to the Committee on Appropriations based on the argument that it would not comply with federal law, specifically the Hyde Amendment. The Hyde Amendment, an annual appropriations rider that prohibits federal funding of abortion, includes an exception for cases involving rape, incest, or danger to the life of the mother.
Fannon claimed that by not complying with federal law the sweeping pro-life measure would jeopardize the state’s $4.5 billion in Medicaid funding.
The motion to recommit was adopted 65-30.
Objecting to the motion to recommit, the bill’s sponsor, Rep. John LaBruzzo, reminded his colleagues that many states have had similar issues. He noted, “Not one time has one state lost one penny of Medicaid dollars – not once.”
LaBruzzo concluded by reiterating that the Hyde Amendment does not compel states to fund abortion. “There is nothing in statute of law that says, ‘The penalty is that we’re going to pull all of your money.’ It’s permissive. If the rape and incest exception applies, then you may or may not. My bill says you may not,” he said.
“Pro-life Americans should not be forced to continue paying the abortionist’s salaries,” said Keith Mason, cofounder of Personhood USA. “States have the right to make murder illegal without interference from the federal government.”
Attorney and Pro-life Speaker Rebecca Kiessling, who was adopted after being conceived in rape, says that in this case the Hyde amendment “had a chilling effect on prolife legislators, causing them to shy away from legislation that they would normally support wholeheartedly.”
“Tax funding of abortions on children conceived by rape is so much worse than saying, ‘I think your mother should be able to abort you.’ It’s saying, ‘You should have been killed, and our tax dollars should have paid for it,’” said Kiessling.
However, the Hyde amendment, spearheaded by pro-life Republican congressman Henry Hyde in 1976, has saved countless millions of lives from abortion funded under government medical programs, and has been a prime target of abortion lobbyists for decades.