Jeff Sadow

If Louisianans don’t want their dollars any time soon going to encourage abortion or mutilation of children, they better hope lawmakers figure something out soon.

With correcting of the jurisprudential wrong done by the wholly invented, hardly-baked Roe. v. Wade Supreme Court decision through its reversal seeming extremely likely, some corporations have broadcast their wokeness by announcing they will fund expenses related to procuring an abortion.

The Court’s action would bring abortion policy back to a firm constitutional grounding that empowers states to regulate the practice, so some states will ban it while others will let it occur unfettered, and these firms have said they’ll foot the entire bill for their female employees using their company health care plan in those states restricting abortion to travel to another to snuff life from their unborn infants.

Louisiana has a number of provisions that would restrict, even outlaw, abortions except under the most unusual circumstances.

Salutary as that may be, the state’s citizens should want to go further to penalize, if not deter, firms that practice the cognitive dissonance of proclaiming abortion is a kind of health care without recognizing it ends up as death dealing for the most vulnerable members of society.

Along those lines, at the national level Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio has come up with an excellent idea. His S. 4131 would “deny the trade or business expense deduction for the reimbursement of employee costs of child gender transition procedure or travel to obtain an abortion,” which also addresses another contentious area of policy.

Any expenses related to employees’ “interstate abortion” or employees’ children’s “gender transition procedure” a business could not write off as a health care benefit. It would carry narrow exceptions, including if abortion occurs as an attempt to save the mother’s life.

That somebody even could consider an abortion “health care,” except when the life of the mother is at physical risk, is a sick joke. If a company has a policy where if for things like cancer treatment aren’t available within 100 miles it will cover the costs of relocation for that, at least that tries to preserve life. Abortion takes it and under normal circumstances is an elective procedure that has nothing to do with safeguarding one’s health.

Regardless, companies that intend to practice this consumers may find difficult to boycott, given the pervasiveness of their products or services and level of competition where somebody lives. At least something along Rubio’s bill gives them another way at least to ensure taxpayers don’t subsidize this obscene practice.

Of course, with Democrat Pres. Joe Biden (who once supported pro-life efforts, as anyone who considers himself Catholic must, but changed his tune) and Democrats clinging to narrow majorities in Congress, the party of abortion on demand won’t let a bill like this advance and that likely won’t change until after Biden leaves office. But at least it can happen fairly soon at the state level.

Thus, Louisiana should adopt a similar law, applying to state income taxes. Republicans, supplemented by enough Democrats willing to think for themselves and buck the party line, have the legislative majorities to do it and override any potential spiteful veto Democrat Gov. John Bel Edwards may cast. The action would require a two-thirds vote in any event, as technically this would be considered a tax increase.

Whether it can be done this session is another matter. With bill filing complete, this could work only as part of an amendment to a related bill, whose author must permit this. Even more complications would ensue if this amalgamated bill must pass as a substitute, especially with the session due to close within a month.

Still, an attempt should be made, and if it can’t come together, certainly a measure like this should have priority for the 2023 Regular Session.

A return to constitutionality on the subject of abortion means unfortunately some states will fail to protect life and residents of other states are free to travel to these to do that deed, or to arrange for mutilation of their children, but at least Louisianans shouldn’t have to subsidize these barbaric practices.

Jeff Sadow is an associate professor of political science at Louisiana State University Shreveport. He has studied and written about Louisiana politics for more than a quarter of a century, and authors the blogs Louisiana Legislature Log and the award-winning Between the Lines. He can be reached at jeffsadowcolumn-HannaPub@yahoo.com.

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