By Archbishop Gregory M. Aymond, Clarion Herald Commentary
This week the Louisiana Legislature passed the Love Life Amendment, which provides an opportunity for Louisiana voters to ratify a simple, one-sentence protection of the unborn by ensuring that there is no right to abortion or the taxpayer funding of abortion in our state Constitution.
The amendment reads: “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?”
The amendment passed with bipartisan support and has been signed by Gov. John Bel Edwards. This legislation allows the state’s voters to vote on the amendment. If passed – and if the U.S. Supreme Court were to overturn Roe vs. Wade, which legalized abortion though all nine months of pregnancy – our state law prohibiting abortion would go into effect immediately.
The Legislature also passed the Fetal Heartbeat bill, which would outlaw abortion in cases where an unborn baby’s heartbeat can be detected.
This is indeed a strong and bold statement that Louisiana is a state where we value the life of the unborn and a victory for the pro-life movement.
It is important to remember that to be truly pro-life, we must stand for the dignity and respect for life from birth to natural death. We must continue to do all we can to support mothers who face unplanned pregnancies. We must continue to advocate for the poor and for the voiceless so that they are not forgotten in society. We must continue to fight against human trafficking and work for healing and justice for the victims. We must continue our work to abolish the death penalty in our state. We must continue to pray and work for the conversion of hearts and minds toward a respect for human life.
I am proud that Catholic Charities in the Archdiocese of New Orleans and many other Catholic ministries are on the forefront of many of these issues. Our staff works daily to support mothers and their babies, to help victims of human trafficking escape their captivity, to advocate for the incarcerated and their families and to provide the basic needs of the poor and vulnerable in our community. I pledge that this good ministry will continue, and we pray for the day that, by the grace of God, we may “build a community founded on the values of Jesus, which gives respect to the life and dignity of all.”
Questions for Archbishop Aymond may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.