Louisiana House Overwhelmingly Passes Fetal Heartbeat Ban — Dem Gov Expected To Sign

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Mary Margaret Olohan Social Issues Reporter
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The Louisiana House of Representatives passed a bill Wednesday banning abortions after the child’s heartbeat can be detected.

The bill overwhelmingly passed the Louisiana House of Representative with a vote of 79-23 and would “prohibit the abortion of an unborn human being with a detectable heartbeat,” according to CNN.

The House rejected an amendment to the bill Wednesday that would have made an exception for abortions in cases of rape or incest, NBC reports. The Louisiana Senate also approved the bill and added amendments requiring ultra sounds and making an exception for “medically futile” pregnancies.

Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards, who has described himself as a “pro-life candidate,” has said he will sign the bill into law. However, the ban will only go into effect if the Mississippi heartbeat bill passes the federal appeals court. Obama appointed Judge Carlton Reeves blocked the Mississippi abortion bill Friday.

“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 evening.

Mississippi Republican Rep. Valarie Hodges introduced the bill, calling it “a very solemn responsibility” according to CNN.  “I’m proud to stand with this legislature and the state of Louisiana because we are very pro-life,” she said.

Louisiana is also considering passing a bill that would add a constitutional amendment declaring that the state of Louisiana does not protect abortion rights, according to NBC News.

“By passing this extreme abortion ban today, anti-women’s health politicians in Louisiana voted to join their counterparts in places like Alabama, Ohio, Mississippi, Missouri, and Georgia to devastate the health and well-being of women and families,” said Planned Parenthood President Leana Wen in a statement to CNN.

“Banning abortion will not stop abortion — but it will end access to safe, legal abortion care.”

The move comes as Missouri, Georgia, Mississippi, Kentucky, Alabama and Ohio enacted restrictive abortion legislation in the past year. (RELATED: These Are The States That Have Passed Pro-Life Abortion Bills This Year)

Republican Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp signed a “fetal heartbeat bill” in May that will go into effect Jan. 1, 2020, banning most abortions in Georgia after a fetal heartbeat is detected. The bill makes exceptions in cases of rape and incest and when the mother’s health is at risk, but only if the mother first files a police report.

Republican Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey also signed H.B. 314 into law May 15. The Alabama law, which is set to take effect in six months, is the most restrictive abortion law in the U.S. and is a near-total ban on abortions. The law makes no exceptions for cases of rape or incest but would make an exception if the mother’s health was in serious danger.

The Supreme Court also reinstated an Indiana law Tuesday requiring abortion clinics to cremate or bury fetal remains. The justices declined to review a second provision of the Indiana law that banned abortions on the basis of sex, race, or disability. The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said both provisions — which Vice President Mike Pence signed into law during his tenure as governor — were unlawful.

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