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Louisiana's 'heartbeat' abortion bill tabled for at least another day

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BATON ROUGE - For bills at the State Capitol, it's all about timing.

Most of the Senate bills scheduled to be heard on the House floor on Tuesday were pushed a day back, including the Fetal Heartbeat Bill.

"Well I think it's just the timing of the legislators that are handling on the house side, and we're totally fine with that," said the bill's sponsor, Sen. Milkovich. "That doesn't cause any problems as far as I'm concerned."

But Pro-Choice Senator Troy Carter says it may be about something else.

"All I can imagine is, whenever things are delayed it's usually because you're still trying to get the votes," Carter said.

Based on the voting patterns on previous bills, it wouldn't seem to be a problem.

Last week, a bill that affirmed abortion was not a constitutional right in the state overwhelmingly passed in the Senate, and Sen. Milkovich's bill is expected to do the same.

"I'm very hopeful for passage of this landmark anti-abortion, pro-life bill. I think it's going to be an occasion of great excitement for the people of Louisiana," Milkovich said.

Governor Jon Be Edwards has already said that he will sign it if it comes to his desk. Similar bills have been signed in to law by governors in Alabama, Missouri and Mississippi. Georgia and Ohio have also passed bills.

However, Mississippi's restrictive abortion ban was just recently blocked by a federal judge. Because of that, Sen. Carter says they should table the issue.

"We should wait to see what the courts do so we don't end up like other states that are being boycotted," he said.

Senator Carter is worried if Louisiana follows suit, it could see the same economic impacts states like Georgia are having, as major industries like film and sports pull out business.


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