The United States’
Supreme Court’s draft opinion on Roe v. Wade has triggered states, both
Democrat and Republican, to enact laws according to their political positions
on abortion. In the US’s deep south, Louisiana Republicans have advanced a bill
to make abortion a crime of murder.

The bill,
supporters say, will charge a woman terminating pregnancy or anyone assisting
her. This bill seeks to define personhood from the moment of fertilisation.

The Supreme Court’s
draft opinion seeks to overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 judgment that gives
federal protections to a woman’s right to have an abortion. Louisiana is one of
the few states with a trigger law that will immediately outlaw abortion if and
when Roe v. Wade is overturned.  

Also Read | Roe v Wade: What is in the leaked SCOTUS opinion draft?

Supporters of the
bill in Louisiana don’t want to wait for Roe v. Wade to be overturned to enact
this new law. If this law is enacted, it will immediately ban abortion in the
state, without the Supreme Court needing to overturn the landmark 1973 ruling.

Critics of the
bill have called it “blatantly unconstitutional” and said it could have tremendous
consequences, intended or otherwise. Opponents of the legislation say it doesn’t
only call for punishing women to get abortions, but also arguably criminalise
some forms of birth control and in-vitro fertilisation.

Also Read | Who were Roe and Wade?

Laws in the pipeline,
such as the one in Louisiana, have come under attack from President Joe Biden.
On Wednesday, Biden said Republicans pushing such laws “constitute the most
extreme political organisation…in recent American history.”

While Louisiana
plans to make abortion murder, Texas, the state where abortion rights have
continually faced opposition, saw its Republican governor raise the possibility
of overturning a 1982 judgement that makes it compulsory for states to ensure free
education for all children, including those of undocumented immigrants.

Also Read | Roe v Wade: List of US states that could ban abortion

Texas Governor Gregg
Abbott, someone on the hard-right of the Republican spectrum, said, “I think we
will resurrect the case challenge this issue again.”