Louisiana’s state legislature on Wednesday overwhelmingly passed a so-called “heartbeat” pro-life bill, becoming the latest in a slew of states to enact strict new restrictions on abortion that many conservatives have hoped will end with the Supreme Court revisiting its landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision.
Gov. John Bel Edwards, a Democrat, has said he will buck the national party establishment and sign the measure into law. Another Democrat, state Sen. John Milkovich, sponsored the bill — underscoring the deep pro-life culture in Louisiana, even among liberal politicians.
The bill, which cleared the Louisiana House by a 79-23 vote, requires an ultrasound to be conducted prior to any abortion procedure being performed. If a fetal heartbeat is detected, the bill bans abortion unless, under penalty of perjury, the abortion provider declares the procedure 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.”
The bill also includes an exemption in the case that a physician certifies that the “unborn child has a profound and irremediable congenital or chromosomal anomaly that is incompatible with sustaining life after birth.”
The text does not include an exception for rape or incest, but it includes penalties only for abortion providers, and not women seeking abortions. Doctors breaking the law could face up to two years in prison and lose their medical license. – READ MORE