Thursday, April 27, 2006
Only 7 Senators Oppose Abortion Ban
LOUISIANA POLITICAL NEWS SERVICE
(Baton Rouge) The Louisiana Senate on Wednesday voted 30-7 to adopt SB 33 by Sen. Ben Nevers (D-Bogalusa) to ban abortion in Louisiana. The legislation permits an exception when abortion is necessary to save the life of the mother and would only take effect if the U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe v Wade.
Although abortion has been a controversial and divisive issue at the State Capitol in past years, the tone of Wednesday’s debate was calm and professional as the pro-life position has apparently gained great support over the past decade.
Only seven senators voted against the ban: Diana Bajoie, Jay Dardenne, Cleo Fields, Ken Hollis, Lydia Jackson, CD Jones and Ed Murray.
The target of immediate and intense criticism for his vote, Senator Jay Dardenne issued a statement at the end of the day claiming that he had accidentally pushed the wrong button on the voting machine on his desk. Pro-life leaders, who have fought Dardenne on a host of issues, ridiculed Dardenne’s claim, insisting that no veteran senator would make such a monumental mistake on a highly visible bill such as SB 33.
Adding to Dardenne’s credibility gap on the issue is his past support of a bill that allowed taxpayer funds to be used to finance abortions.
Republican leaders plan to meet with Dardenne to ask him to exit the race for Secretary of State and run for another statewide office at a later date so the senator can have time to recover some of the credibility he has lost overnight.
“The problem is simple: No one believes Jay Dardenne is telling the truth…that he pushed the red button instead of the green button by mistake,” one GOP leader insisted.