Lousiana just passed a restrictive abortion ban.
What We Know:
- The Louisiana House of Representatives voted 79-23 in favor of a bill prohibiting abortion once a heartbeat is detected. Gov John Bel Edwards signed the bill into law on Thursday.
- Gov. John Bel Edwards has always held anti-abortion views. After facing backlash from fellow Democrats, Edwards told NBC, “The bill has been signed and I’m not going to get into that further today.”
- The bill does not exclude cases of rape or incest. The only exceptions are if the pregnancy poses “serious risk of the substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function” to the mother, or the fetus is not expected to survive after birth.
- Louisiana is the latest state to approve a “heartbeat” bill. Mississippi, Georgia, Ohio and Kentucky have similar laws.
- A heartbeat can be detected as early as six weeks into a pregnancy. Many women are unaware that they are pregnant at that time. This leaves a short window of time for the operation to be performed.
- Many of these bans are designed to make it more difficult for women to get abortions. The recent waves of “heartbeat” bills aim to challenge the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision to legalized abortion nationwide.
- The bill will punish doctors who perform abortions after a “heartbeat” is detected with up to two years in jail.
- The bill is backed by Lousiana Republicans. Rep. Valarie Hodges stated, “In Louisiana, we have a culture of love of life, love of family and love of God. Nothing is more precious to any of us than the heartbeat.”
- Dr. Leanne Wen, Planned Parenthood President stated, “banning abortion will not stop abortion — but it will end access to safe, legal abortion care.”
Women’s reproductive rights are now in the hands of the courts.