Louisiana’s state Legislature passed a pro-life “heartbeat” bill Wednesday, the latest in a string of states to pass such legislation. Gov. John Bel Edwards, a Democrat, said that he will sign the bill into law.
What are the details?
The bill passed the House by a 79-23 vote, and requires a fetal ultrasound prior to a physician performing any abortive procedures whatsoever.
The bill, if signed into law, would “prohibit the abortion of an unborn human being with a detectable heartbeat.”
If the ultrasound detects a fetal heartbeat, the abortion is illegal unless the provider insists that the procedure is necessary “to prevent the death of the pregnant woman or to prevent a serious risk of the substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function of the pregnant woman,” CNN reported.
The bill also stipulates that an abortion provider can continue with the abortion if the “unborn child has a profound and irremediable congenital or chromosomal anomaly that is incompatible with sustaining life after birth.”
Providers who do not comply could lose their licenses and face up to two years in prison.
On Wednesday, NBC reported that the House rejected an amendment that would have made abortions permissible and legal in cases of rape or incest.
After the vote, Edwards tweeted his pro-life stance.
“I know there are many who feel just as strongly as I do on abortion and disagree with me — and I respect their opinions,” he explained in a lengthy statement. “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.”
Louisiana’s latest proposed ban joins the ranks of those in the states of Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, Missouri, Kentucky, and Ohio.