Louisiana Politician Says Survivors Of Rape, Like Her Mom, Should Be Allowed Abortions

Rep. Delisha Boyd

State Representative Delisha Boyd of Louisiana is pushing for changes in the state’s abortion laws, drawing from her own family’s painful history.

Boyd’s mother, who was raped at 15 and became pregnant with Boyd, struggled with limited options due to abortion being illegal at the time. Boyd’s advocacy aims to prevent similar situations for young girls today.

Born in 1969, Boyd entered the world at a time when abortion was prohibited in Louisiana, predating the landmark Roe v. Wade decision.

Her mother, a survivor of statutory rape, faced a stark choice: carry the pregnancy to term or seek an abortion in a state where it was legal. Boyd’s mother lacked the means to travel for abortion care, leading to dire consequences.

Tragically, Boyd’s mother turned to self-medication as a coping mechanism and ultimately succumbed to a drug overdose at the age of 28.

“She didn’t die in childbirth,” Boyd said, “but ultimately she lost her life because of what happened to her.”

Boyd believes her mother’s trauma and subsequent struggles underscore the urgent need for exceptions in Louisiana’s abortion laws.

Boyd, a Democrat representing Orleans Parish since 2021, is on a mission to amend the state’s abortion ban to include provisions for rape and incest survivors.

She is deeply concerned about vulnerable individuals who lack the resources to seek abortion care elsewhere and may resort to risky measures out of desperation.

Reflecting on her mother’s plight, Boyd is troubled by the devastating toll of denying reproductive rights to survivors of sexual violence.

Louisiana is among several states with restrictive abortion laws that offer no exceptions for cases of rape or incest, leaving survivors with limited choices and potentially life-altering consequences.

Boyd’s advocacy seeks to prevent tragedies like her mother’s, advocating for policies that prioritize the well-being and autonomy of survivors in Louisiana and beyond.