Louisiana Is Delaying New Orleans Flood Funds Over Abortion Fight

New Orleans also happened to issue a flood advisory on Thursday.
​Flooding in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.
Flooding in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. (Getty)

A top Louisiana Republican is leading a charge to delay New Orleans flood mitigation money due to the city council’s stance on abortion. 

Louisiana’s Republican Attorney General Jeff Landry has now twice led a push to temporarily deny the city of New Orleans a $39 million line of credit for a flood mitigation project, because the city’s officials spoke out against the state’s extreme abortion law.


Last month, New Orleans passed a resolution calling on prosecutors and law enforcement not to use money or resources to investigate abortion cases. On Thursday, Landry urged the Louisiana Bond Commission to vote down the city Sewerage and Water Board project, as Landry said he wanted to bring the city’s officials “to heel” and force them to prosecute the state’s extreme anti-abortion law, according to local station WWL

“Defer this project until they rescind the resolution,” Landry, who is considering a run for governor next year, said during the Thursday meeting. “This is not just about abortion. This is about the fact that there are elected officials not only in this state but around this country that seem to thumb their nose at the laws of the country and the states.”

Louisiana’s abortion ban was made even more extreme earlier this year with the support of Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards. Not only does Louisiana’s ban include no exception for rape or incest, only to save the life of the mother, but abortion providers can be jailed for up to 10 years and fined up to $100,000. Landry’s office is currently defending this law in the courts.


The hard-line nature of Louisiana’s abortion law has already been on full display, as a woman said earlier this week that she was prohibited from getting an abortion in Louisiana even though an ultrasound has shown the fetus she’s carrying would be born without the top of its skull and would immediately die if it were carried to term. 

And earlier this week, staffers at Louisiana’s last three operating abortion clinics, including one in New Orleans, said the clinics are relocating to other states. The last time Louisiana didn’t have an operating abortion clinic was 1974, according to WWNO.

And the consequences of preventing New Orleans from protecting itself are abundantly clear. The exact death toll from Hurricane Katrina in 2005, one of the deadliest natural disasters in American history, isn’t known but it’s certainly more than 1,000, and damage from the hurricane totaled well over $100 billion

The proposed project is for the “construction of an electrical substation to replace outdated, unreliable turbines that power the city’s drinking water, drainage and sewage system,” according to the news nonprofit Louisiana Illuminator. The soonest the money for this portion of the project would actually be made available to New Orleans is next year, the Illuminator reported. 

The states’ Bond Commission first voted to delay the bond last month, even though at that point an injunction had been issued against enforcement of the state’s abortion ban preventing it from being enforced. The commission ultimately voted to defer down a second time Thursday, in a 7-6 vote.

Not only is it hurricane season, but New Orleans was issued a flood advisory Thursday, Jezebel reported. State Sen. Jimmy Harris, a Democrat from New Orleans who sits on the Bond Commission, reportedly pointed to the flood warning as evidence for why the project is so necessary.

“That’s actually happening in the city right now. That’s what we’re dealing with,” Harris said. “That’s what this particular project is attempting to help us, to where we don’t have to drown.”