Louisiana’s Governor Signs 'Heartbeat' Abortion Bill Into Law. He's a Democrat.

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Posted: May 31, 2019 8:05 AM
Louisiana’s Governor Signs 'Heartbeat' Abortion Bill Into Law. He's a Democrat.

Source: AP Photo/Gerald Herbert

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. 

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.