Estimated reading time: 5 minutes
On November 3rd, Louisianians amended their state constitution with this language: “To protect human life, nothing in this constitution shall be construed to secure or protect a right to abortion or require the funding of abortion.”
Amendments to regulate abortion are not new, but this kind of No Right to Abortion amendment (NRAA) is unique since it limits the way a state constitution can be interpreted on abortion rights. The NRAA is different from a personhood amendment, which defines ‘person’ to include humans regardless of stage of development. In this article, I will explain what the NRAA does and why we should want one in every state constitution.
A Brief History of the NRAA
In 2013, 70% of Americans opposed overturning Roe v. Wade. At that time, however, only 62% of Americans knew that Roe dealt with abortion. As of 2017, public opinion on overturning Roe remains unchanged. With the confirmations of Justices Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, the hope (or fear) that Roe might be overturned or reversed has grown. Pro-life and pro-choice activists have both instigated legislation to prepare for the possibility of a post-Roe America.