The Louisiana House of Representatives unanimously passed two bills to address the expected increase in births following the overturning of Roe v. Wade last year.
House Bill 5, sponsored by Rep. Larry Frieman, R-Abita Springs, would allow a parent to sue the biological father of their child for out-of-pocket pregnancy-related expenses.
“In the light of the overturning of Roe v. Wade, I thought it was imperative for the legislature to start looking at ways to protect pregnant women,” Frieman said.
Frieman said he was open to amending the bill to make it clear that individuals whose pregnancies end in miscarriage or stillbirth would still be able to recoup expenses.
The House also advanced House Bill 298, sponsored by Rep. Jason Hughes, D-New Orleans, that would allow sexual assault survivors who become pregnant as a result of their assault to have the parental rights of the perpetrator terminated.
Hughes said the bill was designed to add clarity to current law and to bring state law closer to federal law.
The bill is supported by a range of conservative and progressive organizations and carries the support of Solicitor General Liz Murrill, who has frequently argued anti-abortion positions in court on behalf of the state. Murrill is running to replace her boss, Attorney General Jeff Landry.
Hughes’ bill would also apply to parents who want to place their child up for adoption. Under the current law, the perpetrator could dispute the adoption.
The bills will next go to before a senate committee and must receive a positive vote in the senate before they are sent for gubernatorial approval.
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