Louisiana’s Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards angered members of his own party on Thursday when he signed a ban on abortions once a heartbeat is detected.
"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," he said in a statement.
The ban on abortions once a heartbeat is detected could apply to pregnancies as early as six weeks. The only exceptions are for “medically futile” cases where the mother’s health is at risk or the baby is stillborn. No exceptions are included for cases of rape or incest.
Democrats, including 2020 presidential candidates, expressed outrage over the governor signing the legislation.
Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Kamala Harris (D-CA), and Bernie Sanders (I-VT) all weighed in.
Regardless of your personal beliefs, no politician—Republican or Democrat—has the right to control women’s bodies or involve themselves in women’s health care decisions. Governor John Bel Edwards is turning his back on Louisiana women by signing this shameful bill. https://t.co/PdObQ2JZCT— Kirsten Gillibrand (@SenGillibrand) May 30, 2019
The Democratic governor of Louisiana is signing draconian anti-abortion legislation today. This is an outrage. Regardless of party, we must vigorously defend a woman's constitutional right to control her own body. https://t.co/Bv1fcVEuhi— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) May 30, 2019
Dangerous attacks on women’s constitutional right to an abortion are outrageous no matter what party you’re in. My message to the Gov. of Louisiana: women have agency, women have value, women have authority to make decisions about their own lives—and we will not go backward. https://t.co/oi7vgy90ej— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) May 30, 2019
Louisiana is now the fifth state to enact a law banning abortions once a heartbeat is detected, joining Ohio, Georgia, Mississippi, and Kentucky. Alabama’s law goes even further, outlawing nearly all abortions.
The law in Louisiana will only take effect if Mississippi’s similar law, which was blocked by a federal judge, is upheld in court.