Louisiana Lawmakers Pass Strict New Abortion Ban

Louisiana Lawmakers Pass Strict New Abortion Ban

"Across the nation there is a growing momentum, informed by science and compassion, to recognize the humanity of the unborn child in law", Susan B. Anthony (SBA) List President Marjorie Dannenfelser said in a statement provided to the Washington Free Beacon.

Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards would become the first Democrat this year to sign a ban on abortion when a heartbeat is detected, which can occur as early as six weeks from conception before a woman realizes she is pregnant, lending bipartisanship to the measure.

Currently, Louisiana law prohibits abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy. Louisiana already has more than 1,000 medically unnecessary requirements regarding abortion, according to the ACLU. If the judge does not do so, Reproductive Health Services of Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region - Missouri's only licensed abortion provider - would close.

Though the state had 17 abortion clinics in the early 1990s, it has just three today.

The U.S. Supreme Court may eventually be called upon to rule on the various state laws, which challenge the high court's landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that women have a constitutional right to an abortion.

Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi and OH have enacted similar so-called heartbeat bills, while Missouri lawmakers approved an eight-week ban on abortion.

On Wednesday, NBC reported that the House rejected an amendment that would have made abortions permissible and legal in cases of rape or incest.

However, the ban would only take effect if a federal appeals court upholds a similar law in Mississippi. A federal judge temporarily blocked that MS law Friday.

The Louisiana legislation, similar to other measures passed in states such as Missouri and Georgia, will only go into effect if a federal court upholds a similar bill passed by the MS legislature that has faced legal challenges from abortion rights supporters. It does allow abortions to prevent a woman's death or if the pregnancy presents "a serious risk of the substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function".

The law does not include exemptions for a pregnancy due to rape or incest. The governor released the following statement just minutes after the bill's passage.

Although similar abortion bans have drawn sharp criticism from Democrats nationwide, Louisiana's proposal won wide bipartisan support and was sponsored by a Democrat from the north-west corner of the state, Senator John Milkovich.

Support from Edwards, running for reelection this fall against two Republicans, is expected to help shore up his position with some voters in his conservative home state, even if it puts him at odds with national Democratic Party leaders and donors.

Louisiana is poised to become the latest state to have a controversial abortion ban signed into law. In a press conference Wednesday, Missouri Governor Mike Parson, who's been an outspoken anti-abortion advocate, said "Planned Parenthood has been actively and knowingly violating state law on numerous occasions".

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