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Photo right: Louisiana attorney general Jeff Landry.
By Calvin Freiburger, LifeSiteNews, June 8, 2018
BATON ROUGE, Louisiana, June 8, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — The state of Louisiana has spent more than $1 million defending pro-life laws from pro-abortion lawsuits since 2014, according to a new report.
The state has paid $1.14 million to private attorneys during that time frame for a total of five lawsuits, the Associated Press revealed Thursday after reviewing state records.
The laws currently tied up in court include a requirement that abortionists have admitting privileges at hospitals within 30 miles, a 72-hour waiting period for abortions, a requirement that babies killed in abortions be given humane burials or cremations, and efforts to deny Planned Parenthood state Medicaid funds.
Louisiana also recently approved a ban on abortions past 15 weeks of pregnancy, but that law won’t be going to court, as it has a provision delaying it from taking effect until the fate of a similar law in Mississippi is decided.
“We will exhaust every legal option we have to ensure these laws are upheld,” Republican Attorney General Jeff Landry said, explaining the state relied on its own attorneys and outside counsel. “In Louisiana, it is clear, we will not put a price tag on an innocent, unborn child.”
A spokesperson for Gov. John Bel Edwards, a pro-life Democrat, also said the cause was worth the cost. State Sen. John Milkovich, another pro-life Democrat, agreed.
“There’s no more valid, worthwhile or justified expenditure of money than money spent to stop abortion and protect the lives of the unborn,” Milkovich said.
Adding to the state’s price tag may be the recent court victory for Hope Medical Group for Women, which is now demanding $4.7 million in legal fees for their lawsuit over the admitting privileges law. The state has appealed the case.
The financial burden imposed by legal battles over pro-life laws are a recurring theme among pro-abortion activists. In 2014, the left-wing ThinkProgress wrote that Idaho, Kansas, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Texas had collectively spent more than $3.2 million defending their laws. A 2016 Huffington Post article highlighting Alabama, Wisconsin, and others presented the lawsuits as placing additional burdens on “cash-strapped” states.
Last fall, the AP reported that Arizona lawsuits cost more than $2 million, and its most recent report insinuates that defending the laws is wasteful because Louisiana faces a “looming budget shortfall that has colleges and public safety programs possibly on the chopping block.”
However, the line of attack assumes that pro-life governments invited all the lawsuits by merely passing the laws, when in reality abortionists or pro-abortion organizations chose to initiate each of them rather than campaigning to repeal the duly-enacted laws in future legislative sessions.
“See the twisted logic?” Dave Andrusko asked at National Right to Life News. “States should never pass these laws in the first place, but if they know the ACLU or the Center for Reproductive Rights will drag out the case forever and a day, the state should quickly fold its legal tent once the law is contested.”
“In other words, the ACLU and CRR ought to have a de facto veto power over which laws the state should passes,” he continued. “Of course, the real objection the AP has is not the money, it is the pro-life policies themselves which the story diminishes, ridicules, and caricatures.”
While the U.S. Supreme Court struck down Texas’ admitting privilege law in 2016, it has previously upheld a wide variety of other pro-life measures, including 24-hour waiting periods, prohibitions on non-physicians performing abortions, parental notification and consent requirements, excluding abortion funding from state Medicaid programs, informed consent requirements, and 24-hour waiting periods.