2006 Press Releases

6.6.2006: Open Letter Urging Veto of Abortion Ban Trigger Legislation SB

We are writing to express our strong opposition to SB 33 and urge you to veto this dangerous legislation.  The ACLU of Louisiana (the ACLU) is an autonomous Louisiana non-profit corporation dedicated to securing and maintaining constitutional liberties, including the right to reproductive freedom, guaranteed to state residents.  The ACLU is committed to protecting every person's right to make informed decisions free from government interference about whether and when to become a parent.  On behalf of our membership and our organization we urge you to veto SB 33 to protect the health, safety, and reproductive freedom of the women and families of Louisiana.

Abortion is part of fundamental health care for women.  The decision of whether or not to have a child is among the most fundamental and private decisions a person can make.  With the passage of SB 33, the legislature intends to criminalize abortion in Louisiana as soon as possible.   This dangerous and extreme measure will not protect women and their families, but will only serve to threaten the health and lives of women across the state.  History has shown that when women are denied access to abortion care they may resort to desperate measures.  The women of Louisiana should benefit from the lessons learned from the past; they should not be doomed to repeat it. 

The women of Louisiana would be better served if the legislature would focus on commonsense solutions aimed at reducing unintended pregnancy such as funding medically accurate sex education and ensuring access to birth control, including emergency contraception.  In a recent report by the Guttmacher Institute, Louisiana ranked 33rd in the nation in its efforts to help women avoid unintended pregnancy.  In order to reduce the number of abortions and unintended pregnancies, we urge you to work with the legislature, as well as with the ACLU and its allies, on legislation that will increase access to contraception and medically accurate sex education. 

An abortion ban will not reduce the number of unintended pregnancies in the state.  It will only put women and their families at risk.  We urge you to veto SB 33 to protect the health, safety, and reproductive freedom of the women and families of Louisiana. 

Respectfully,

Joe Cook
Executive Director
ACLU of Louisiana