ReportageIn this southern US state, voluntary termination of pregnancy is now prohibited, even in cases of rape and incest. A decision that should particularly penalize minorities, the defenders of women’s rights are alarming.

Edith Romero never expected to get pregnant. December 2021 had just begun. She had already taken the morning-after pill after unprotected sex. The young woman, who arrived in New Orleans from Honduras eleven years ago on a scholarship, is perfectly familiar with reproductive problems. She works in a free clinic, called Luke’s House, which provides medical care and support for the most vulnerable. Her partner had remained in her home country. At 29, she Edith did not hesitate for long and decided to have an abortion. “If I had not had access to this procedure, I would have a child who I would not be ready to hire physically, mentally and economically”, summarizes. The waiting room of the specialist clinic was packed. We had to go back twice and pass the protesters outside, who advised Edith to adopt Jesus and surrender.

Edith Romero, originally from Honduras, worked in a women's clinic until June 2022. She particularly helped women who did not speak English with administrative procedures to access abortion.  In New Orleans, July 8, 2022.

Seven months later, and after a ten-day respite between two contradictory judicial decisions, this clinic closed its doors. Like the other two in Louisiana, in Baton Rouge and Shreveport. Now it will be necessary to travel to another state, hundreds of miles away, to undergo the voluntary termination of pregnancy. Provided you have the time and means. “Women will suffer, they will probably die, Edith Romero said. Violence in the family will increase, including poverty, especially among Latin and black minorities. All of this stems from a backward, anti-woman, religion-based view. “

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Reversing the historic Roe vs. Wade (1973), on June 24 the Supreme Court revoked a constitutional right, returning to the States the task of deciding on the question of abortion. A dozen of them already had legislation ready to go into effect, just waiting for this historic day to go into effect. This is the case in Louisiana. The law passed in 2006 prohibits abortion without exception in the case of rape or incest, regardless of the age of the victim. Only extreme circumstances are allowed where the mother’s life is in danger. State elected officials have even doubled the maximum penalty for those who practice the intervention, which has been increased from five to ten years. The use of telemedicine and the sending of abortion pills by post is also prohibited.

Michelle Erenberg, one of the founders of the Lift Louisiana association that defends women's rights, has been working from home since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic.  In New Orleans, July 1, 2022.

Reproductive rights organizations are engaged in a fierce battle in court to freeze law enforcement, the application and scope of which remain unclear. Demonstrations took place, on a small scale. At the premiere, 23-year-old Schuyler Kean cried profusely. Having just graduated from prestigious Princeton University with a degree in medical anthropology, she feels “Angry and frustrated”. “At least the Conservatives are clearly telling you that they intend to deprive you of your rights. Here the Democrats screw you. ” It therefore refers to the Democratic governor of Louisiana, John Bel Edwards, who signed the abortion law.

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