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Politics

Amendment 1 On The 2020 Louisiana Ballot: What To Know About Abortion In The Constitution

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Here’s the language you’ll see on the ballot:

“Do you support an amendment declaring that, to protect human life, a right to abortion and the funding of abortion shall not be found in the Louisiana Constitution?”

How would it work?

An article would be added to the Lousiana Constitution that says the Constitution will not include a right to abortion or the funding of abortion. There are no immediate effects, but there are potential effects down the road.

The fate of Roe v. Wade plays heavily into this debate, especially after the death of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and her possible replacement by Judge Amy Coney Barrett.

Currently, abortion is legal in all 50 states. Were Roe v. Wade to be overturned, Louisiana has a trigger law that would take immediate effect banning all abortions in the state, except in cases whether the pregnant person is likely to die.

There would be no exceptions for fetal death in the womb, rape or incest victims, or serious harm — but not death — to the pregnant person.

Under that scenario, state constitutions would become the battlegrounds for reproductive rights, and this amendment would prevent any state-level challenge to the abortion ban, or any other anti-abortion law passed by politicians, effectively shutting down any legal avenue to overturn such laws.

To learn more about what's on your 2020 ballot, check out our ballot guide.

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