Press Release Email Header
May 26, 2015
Contact: Ben Clapper 


HB 701, Pro-Life Cause, Hung Out to Dry in Senate
Bill Stalls in Senate's Judiciary B Committee, Fate Uncertain

HB 701, the legislation aimed at preventing sex-selective abortion in Louisiana, was stalled today by a 2-2 vote in the State Senate Judiciary B Committee. Senators J.P. Morrell and Karen Carter Peterson voted against the bill, and Senators Norby Chabert and Eric Lafleur voted in favor of the bill. Senators Ronnie Johns, Gary Smith, and Gregory Tarver were not present at the committee, though each was present on the Senate floor this afternoon. The split vote leaves HB 701 in the Judiciary B Committee with an uncertain fate.

Benjamin Clapper, executive director of Louisiana Right to Life, said the following today after the Judiciary B Committee vote:

"Today was the culmination of a week where HB 701, and the pro-life cause, were hung out to dry in the Louisiana Senate. Instead of having the bill placed in the Senate Health and Welfare Committee, as is customary, the legislation was placed in a committee led by pro-abortion Sen. J.P. Morrell. While there are civil penalties on HB 701, many pro-life bills with various forms of penalties have been heard in the Senate Health and Welfare Committee before.

"At the beginning of the committee hearing Rep. (Lenar) Whitney attempted to offer important amendments that would have fixed concerns raised by many legislators. Chairman Morrell immediately objected, prior to even letting Rep. Whitney finish her presentation of the amendments. Chairman Morrell falsely accused Rep. Whitney of proposing the amendment simply to get the bill moved to another committee. He even called it 'venue shopping.'

"Near the end of the committee hearing Chairman Morrell offered to author a resolution that would investigate the frequency of sex-selective abortions in Louisiana to determine if future legislation to ban the practice is necessary. While we support the general concept of the resolution, we believe we need to pass legislation now to make sure sex-selective abortions are not happening in Louisiana. We should not wait until we realize we have a problem in order to act to solve it. If sex-selective abortion is wrong for Louisiana, we must pass HB 701 now to make sure that not even one baby girl or baby boy is killed from this violent form of gender discrimination.

"We are saddened that Senators Johns, Smith, and Tarver did not attend the hearing. If even one of these senators, who have a generally pro-life voting record, had been present, the bill would have succeeded."


Louisiana Right to Life | Lighting the Way to a Pro-Life Louisiana Since 1970 | 1.866.463.5433 |

Be a Member