Signs of Hope Act (HB 636) Passes State Senate!
HB 636 heads to Governor Jindal; Defund Planned Parenthood Resolution Moves to Senate Floor!
15 June 2011
The State Legislative session is down to its last week, and the past two days have been exciting!
|Click image to see in more detail!|
Signs of Hope: HB 636
Yesterday evening, HB 636, the "Signs of Hope Act", passed the State Senate by a margin of 30-5.
We believe this is groundbreaking legislation that will shine the light of truth in the midst of abortion facilities that squelch the truth. We look forward to these signs saving lives!
After Governor Jindal signs the legislation next week and the bill is enforced, the Department of Health and Hospitals (DHH) will be directed to:
- produce the final sign that will be "conspicuously" displayed in each Louisiana abortion facility in both the waiting room and the patient consultation rooms (draft of the sign at the right).
- create a new website and smart phone platform offering abortion alternatives and information that will empower women to consider choosing life, such as contacts for the numerous pro-life pregnancy centers across the state, information on fetal development, and more.
- require abortion facilities to provide a woman, when making her first appointment with the abortion facility, the abortion alternatives website address.
While these aspects have been the focal point of the legislation from day one for us, the news media (see Times Picayune article from today) has paid more attention to the healthcare rights of conscience provisions of the bill. We included these provisions in the bill to close a loophole left open from two years ago that gives leeway for employers and other institutions to justify their abuse of the conscience rights of their employees.
In the days leading up to the Senate floor hearing, we decided to accept an amendment to remove the conscience provisions because we were concerned a "dual object" lawsuit (a rule found in the Louisiana constitution stating bills cannot have two objectives) would tie our new bill up in court for a couple years, thereby preventing the immediate implementation of the abortion facility signs and the new website that will offer resources to women. However, the loophole still remains, and we plan to be back in future sessions to make the fix that ensures the conscience rights of health care workers are protected.
After yesterday's vote, 23 out of the 39 senators agreed to co-author the legislation, giving us a total of 98 co-authors between the House and Senate. Thanks to Senator Mike Walsworth for carrying the bill on the Senate floor yesterday, and Representative Hoffman for his constant leadership and vigilance!
HCR 54: Urging Congress to Defund Planned Parenthood
This morning, the Senate Health and Welfare Committee, by the slim margin of 4-3, voted in favor of a resolution urging Congress to defund Planned Parenthood, the nation's largest abortion chain. The resolution now heads to the Senate floor for consideration.
Thanks to Senators Nevers (Bogalusa), Mills (Breaux Bridge-Parks), Erdey (Livingston area), and Cheek (Shreveport area) for voting in favor of the resolution. Senators Heitmeier (Algiers-New Orleans), McPherson (Alexandria), and Williard-Lewis (New Orleans) voted against the resolution, thereby voting in favor of sending your federal taxpayer dollars to an organization that performed over 330,000 abortions in 2009.
Contact the Senate now and ask them to vote yes on HCR 54! Find your Senator by clicking here.
We will be releasing a full session report at the conclusion of the session next week, where we will be discussing a number of bills we followed during the 2011 session. Thank you for your support of pro-life legislation!
For a Pro-Life Louisiana,
Louisiana Right to Life
P.S. We just released checks totaling $2,000 each to 25 different pro-life pregnancy centers and adoption agencies across the state made available through the Choose Life License Plate Fund! The funds will go directly to help the women these center serve!
P.P.S. If we are going to continue making these Choose Life grants available, YOU must order your official Louisiana Choose Life License Plate! Get yours now- only $25 year over and above your license fee. You do not have to wait till your license expires!