'Heartbeat' abortion bill passes La. House, governor plans to sign
BATON ROUGE - A proposal banning abortions as early as six weeks into a pregnancy has cleared the House and will now head to Governor John Bel Edwards for approval.
The Fetal Hearbeat Bill, SB 184, gained approval from the house after more than an hour of deliberations. During talks Wednesday, the House voted down several amendments, including one that would grant exceptions to victims of rape and incest.
Fetal heartbeat bill passes 79-23— Bess Casserleigh (@BCasserleigh) May 29, 2019
The legislation, backed by Democratic Sen. John Milkovich, would prohibit abortions when a fetal heartbeat is detected. However, the ban would only take effect if a federal appeals court upholds a similar law in Mississippi.
The bill had already cleared the senate, and Governor Edwards has said he would sign such a bill if it reached his desk. The governor released the following statement just minutes after the bill's passage.
“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.
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.”
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