Louisiana passed a fetal heartbeat abortion ban on Wednesday and the state’s Democratic governor John Bel Edwards has indicated that he’ll break from his party and will sign the bill when it comes across his desk.
Lawmakers passed the abortion ban in a 79 to 23 vote on Wednesday evening at 5.15pm that will prevent women from having an abortion once a fetal heartbeat has detected – which typically occurs six weeks into pregnancy, often before women are even aware they’re pregnant.
The vote followed a heated two hour debate over the bill where the House rejected an amendment Wednesday that would provide an exception for women and girls impregnated through rape of incest.
The bill, authored by Shreveport Democrat John Milkovich, is one of the country’s strictest abortion bans. It will prevent women from getting an abortion when they’re six weeks pregnant and onwards with the only exception being for pregnancies deemed ‘medically futile’.
Louisiana lawmakers passed a fetal heartbeat abortion ban in a 79 to 23 vote on Wednesday. Dem. Gov. John Bel Edward (above) says he will break from his party and sign the controversial bill
Governor Edwards released a statement explaining that he’s preparing to sign the bill, adding that he’s been fighting for pro-life legislation since 2015
Republican Sen. John Milkovich and Rep. Valarie Hodges pictured speaking outside of the State Capitol in Baton Rouge after the House passed Milkovich’s fetal heartbeat bill
The Senate already approved the bill with amendments that include language to require an ultrasound and clarified that abortion did not include medically necessary terminations.
Now it’s on its way to Gov. John Bel Edward’s desk.
The governor, elected in 2015, has previously told reporters that he is pro-life.
‘I will just tell you, my personal opinion is that the people of Louisiana are overwhelming pro-life and this is the conversation that we’ve been having here for many many years,’ Edwards said back in 2015.
Following the vote he released a statement saying he’s ready to sign off on the controversial bill.
‘In 2015, I ran for governor as a pro-life candidate after serving as a pro-life legislator for eight years. As governor, I have been true to my word and my beliefs on this issue. But it is also my sincere belief that being pro-life means more than just being pro-birth,’ Edwards shared Wednesday.
The ban will not allow abortions for pregnancies where a fetal heartbeat is detected – which typically occurs around the six week period, often before women even know they’re pregnant. Protesters pictured outside Jackson Square on Saturday ahead of Wednesday’s vote
The bill, authored by Shreveport Democrat John Milkovich, does not make exceptions for rape and incest victims. The only exception is for pregnancies that are deemed ‘medically futile’
On Wednesday hundreds of abortion-rights advocates took to the streets to protest the anti-abortion legislation. Protesters pictured on May 22
Handsmaid themed protesters stand outside Jackson Square in the French Quarter of New Orleans, Louisiana on Saturday to protest the Heartbeat Bill that was passed Wednesday
If signed, Louisiana will become the fifth state to pass a fetal heart ban ban, joining Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, and Ohio
‘My first act as governor was to expand access to health care for working Louisianans. I have worked with Republicans and Democrats in the Legislature to expand investment in education and pass sweeping criminal justice reforms. For each of the last three years, my administration has set records for the number of children being adopted out of our foster care system. And despite fierce opposition, I’ve fought to ensure LGBT citizens are not discriminated against in the workplace, to raise the minimum wage, and to pay a woman the same as a man for doing the same job.
‘I know there are many who feel just as strongly as I do on abortion and disagree with me – and I respect their opinions. As I prepare to sign this bill, I call on the overwhelming bipartisan majority of legislators who voted for it to join me in continuing to build a better Louisiana that cares for the least among us and provides more opportunity for everyone,’ he added.
Though breaking from his party, he’s one of many Democrats voting to ban abortion in the red South.
Democrat State Rep Katrina Jackson is a sponsor of the bill and says that her personal religious beliefs overshadow her party’s preferences.
‘I don’t believe in being a cookie-cutter legislator…When you have a sincerely held belief, you stand for that belief. That doesn’t mean you abandon your party. That doesn’t mean that you abandon anyone. That means that you understand that a one-size-fits-all approach to legislature doesn’t work,’ she said to the
According to the bill’s text, the ban will only take effect if a similar bill in Mississippi is held up in federal appeals court.
A sweeping number of states have passed abortion ban bills into law in an effort to challenge the Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, which states that access to an abortion procedure is a constitutional right
If signed, Louisiana will become the fifth state to pass a fetal heart ban ban, joining Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, and Ohio.
According to the bill’s text, the ban will only take effect if a nearly identical bill in Mississippi is held up in federal appeals court, according to
That ban has face legal challenge on on Friday a federal judge issued a preliminary injunction blocking Mississippi’s fetal heartbeat anti-abortion law from going into effect, arguing that such a ban infringes on women’s health care rights.
A sweeping number of states have passed abortion ban bills into law in an effort to challenge the Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, which states that access to an abortion procedure is a constitutional right.
The abortion bill wildfire started with Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey when he signed a near-total abortion ban bill into law on May 15. Lawmakers said that the ban was designed specifically to challenge and overturn federal abortion protection.