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Friday March 2nd 2012                          Contact: Benjamin Clapper
For Immediate Release                 | 504.228.4273                            

Senate President's Bill to Ban Abortion at 20 Weeks 

"Viable and Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act" Filed by Senator Alario 
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Baton Rouge, LA: Today, Louisiana Right to Life  joined Senate President John Alario to file the "Viable and Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act" in the Louisiana Senate to protect unborn children 20 weeks post-fertilization and older.

Senate President John Alario commented on the filing of the legislation, "The State of Louisiana has a compelling interest to protect the lives of unborn children. This is another tool to help us meet that responsibility within the limits of current jurisprudence. We look forward to this legislation being enacted into law and ending the current allowable practice of abortion at 20 weeks or later in Louisiana."

Drafted with the assistance of the Bioethics Defense Fund's Dorinda Bordlee, SB 593 would prohibit abortion after viability, and the legislation indicates that viability shall be legally presumed when the unborn child's probable post-fertilization age is determined to be twenty (20) or more weeks.

In addition to the standard of viability, the SB 593 takes into consideration the scientifically documented evidence that the unborn child feels pain at 20 weeks post-fertilization, in addition to the increased risks to women's health with abortions at that stage.

Benjamin Clapper, Executive Director of Louisiana Right to Life, stated, "Abortion is a violent act where the child is dismembered limb by limb through the use of forceps and other instruments.  This important legislation will protect unborn children at the point where they can feel pain, just like us.  We are very appreciative of Senator Alario's leadership on this important issue.  We anticipate the passage of this legislation, and eagerly anticipate a day when the Supreme Court allows Louisiana to be completely abortion-free."

Dorinda Bordlee, Senior Counsel of the Bioethics Defense Fund, stated the following: "Abortion is not only painful for the unborn child, but evidence shows increased health risks are present to the woman, especially at 20 weeks and later.  Women deserve better than abortion, and this legislation exemplifies Louisiana's commitment to that goal."

SB 593 also states that if a continued pregnancy poses a certified threat to a woman's life or the impairment of a major bodily function, a termination of pregnancy after viability shall only be performed in a licensed hospital by means that provide the greatest chance for the survival and health of both the woman and her unborn child.

The legislation has also been advocated from the beginning by Gene Mills, President of the Louisiana Family Forum.  More information is available at  A "Frequently Asked Question" PDF will be available on the bill soon on the website.  The text of the bill can be found online at the Legislature's website.


Note: Louisiana Right to Life also helped bring forward the Criminal Abortion Dismemberment Bill, authored by Senator Rick Ward.  See recent Times-Picayune Article.  Louisiana Right to Life will also be announcing more legislative priorities over the next couple weeks.  Session begins March 12th.

Louisiana Right to Life Federation (LARTL), established in 1970, works through
education and legislation to restore the right to life in Louisiana by opposing abortion, euthanasia, and other life destroying actions. 



Louisiana Right to Life, established in 1970, works through education, legislation, activism, and service to restore the right to life in Louisiana by opposing abortion, euthanasia, and other life destroying actions.

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