Louisiana, You've Come a Long Way, Baby

July 6, 2021

Right before the July 4th break, Louisiana House Bill 146 -- a lesser-known pro-life bill -- was signed into law. What the bill accomplishes, however, is not only worth noting, but championing in Louisiana and in other states.

House Bill 146 allows mothers to claim a tax credit if they've lost a child from a stillbirth. The enactment of this measure honors the grief of mothers by affirming the pain of losing an unborn child. This bill is one of hundreds of state bills affirming the humanity, worth, and dignity of the unborn by a variety of means.

Measures like Louisiana's HB 146 had not yet seen the light of day even a few years ago. In 2017, North Dakota becoming the first state to enact a bill (HB 12789) issuing tax credit for stillborn children. Since then, 16 states have introduced such bills, and Louisiana is the fifth to successfully enact one. Though these bills "only" grant tax credit, by doing so they affirm the innate value of the unborn, a noble step on the long road toward recognizing fully, in law, the truth that life has inherent dignity and worth, regardless of its location inside or outside of the womb.

These types of laws also illuminate an encouraging pro-life trend: A growing number of state lawmakers are shifting from partisan lines to unite behind this pro-life position. Forty percent of state legislators who have sponsored or cosponsored bills issuing tax credit to parents of stillborn children are Democrat. In fact, of the five successfully enacted bills issuing tax credit, all but one were bipartisan.

With the enactment of Louisiana's HB 146, we are reminded of the immense progress that states have taken to affirm the dignity of the unborn. Moreover, the Bayou State is a hardy example that other states can follow, passing multiple pro-life measures this legislative session. Also signed last week were HB 357 (strengthening parental oversight of under-age abortions and HB 578 (an abortion pill reversal informed consent bill, requiring that abortionists inform women of reversal measures that can be taken in the event that the woman regrets initiating a chemical abortion).

This past weekend, Americans had the opportunity to raise a glass to the accomplishments of those who paved a way for the freedom experienced every day in this country. At the same time, some states have taken the time to look forward, think about tomorrow's generation, and prepare the way for Americans yet to be born. The enactment of Louisiana's pro-life measures last week is an example to us all of doing justice while loving mercy, and should remind us that there is still a noble fight being waged on behalf of the unborn, one bill at a time.