The Louisiana House of Representatives has joined in on the pro-life movement making its way across the country, passing its own version of the “Heartbeat bill.”
The bill, which bans abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected, cleared the legislative chamber by a vote of 79 to 23 and will now head to Governor John Bel Edwards’ desk, Reuters reports.
Edwards, who is a Democrat, has announced that he intends to sign the bill into law. He would be the first Democrat to do so this year.
Reuters reports: “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. The bill’s sponsor, state Senator John Milkovich, is also a Democrat.”
Here’s more from the report:
Other states that passed similar measures this year, including Ohio, Mississippi and Missouri, are led by Republican governors.
“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,” Edwards said in a statement on Wednesday.
The measure would allow a woman to have an abortion, after detection of an embryonic heartbeat, to prevent her death or if she risks serious injury.
The Louisiana legislation will not go into effect until a U.S. Appeals Court rules on whether to allow a similar measure in neighboring Mississippi to take effect. Last week, a U.S. district judge blocked the Mississippi law from taking effect, and the Appeals Court that is expected to review the ruling also has jurisdiction over Louisiana.
The Louisiana bill makes no exceptions for pregnancies caused by rape or incest.
According to the report, the massive pro-life push in recent months has been encouraged by the appointment of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, which tipped the court to a 5-4 conservative majority.
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In another legal confrontation, Planned Parenthood is suing the state of Missouri’s department of health for not approving of a required license to perform an abortion procedure. Government officials said they would need to conduct interviews before granting the license, Reuters reports. Here’s more:
The license for the clinic, which Planned Parenthood operates, is due to expire on Friday.
Missouri Governor Mike Parson, a Republican, on Wednesday reiterated his intention to close the clinic for failing to meet state licensing standards.
Planned Parenthood said in a statement that Parson’s remarks were “not based on medicine, facts or reality,” and it will do “everything to ensure our patients get the best medical care available.”
Last week, Parson signed into law a measure banning abortion in Missouri after the eighth week of a woman’s pregnancy.