There has been a battle quietly raging between several Governors and the abortion industry during the shutdown. As this situation unfolded in several states, especially in the South, it proved a point that conservatives have been making for years- that abortion is not healthcare.
Governor Greg Abbott (R-TX) deserves praise for not only deeming elective abortions non-essential but also enforcing the regulation and stopping nearly all abortions during the shutdown in his state. Governor Abbott even went to court over the matter, winning on the grounds of both surgical and chemically-induced abortions.
Meanwhile, a very different scenario is playing out in Louisiana where the deep south’s lone Democrat Governor has turned a blind eye to the matter. John Bel Edwards was twice elected on the platform of being a “pro-life Democrat” but when he finally had the chance to prove it, he did nothing but the bare minimum to keep up appearances.
While Edwards included abortion clinics in his designation of “non-essential” businesses, he failed to enforce the restriction despite growing pressure from the state’s pro-life majority. The consequences were monumental with Louisiana becoming the abortion capital during the lockdown for women from surrounding states.
While abortion clinics in New Orleans and Baton Rouge closed briefly, which happen to be COVID-19 hotspots, the clinic in Shreveport only closed for one single day before re-opening as the abortion-destination for all of Louisiana. The Governor’s failure to enforce his own designation put people at great risk, especially those who live in Shreveport-Bossier City.
The human cost of Edwards’ inaction is staggering. Based on 2019 abortion numbers reported to the Louisiana Department of Health, an estimated 800 abortions may have been performed so far during the shutdown.
One of the loudest voices aginst this injustice is Shreveport resident and pro-life activist Kandace Landreneau who has been raising awareness since the lockdown began.
She and other advocates have even been performing “sidewalk counseling” to receptive women outside the local abortion clinic which she credits with saving the lives of at least three unborn babies.
Speaking on her sidewalk advocacy Landreneau says,
“If I’ve learned anything about being out there, the majority of women do not want to be there! They feel like this is their only choice… We’re there to show them that it’s not the only way.”
The frustration with the self-proclaimed pro-life Governor has reached a fever-pitch after a joint press conference with the Director of the Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) who said the state would not interfere with abortions as they “may be time sensitive.” With his deafening silence, Governor Edwards appeared two-feet tall.
Landreneau says she has seen pictures of “lines out the door and around the corner” at the Baton Rouge abortion clinic while the Shreveport clinic has seen packed parking lots daily. She says, “This pandemic has made it very clear that the abortion businesses put profits over people.”
U.S. Congressman Mike Johnson (R-LA) represents Shreveport-Bossier and echoed that sentiment while calling out Governor Edwards in the following Facebook post:
As Louisiana's abortion clinics have remained packed with business and operating in open defiance of the Department of Health closure orders for weeks now, Governor John Bel Edwards gave all of us personal assurances that he would not allow it. Instead, he stalled taking action until today's surprise announcement that they can now "reopen" and perform "time-sensitive" abortions (which the industry claims over every single procedure!). It is OUTRAGEOUS that so many lives have been lost, public health has been endangered, and critically-needed PPE has been used up so unnecessarily! The governors of Texas and other states stopped the killing—but ours didn't!#ProfitsOverPeople#Shameful
Posted by Mike Johnson on Monday, April 20, 2020