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Tipsheet

Opinion: God Bless Democratic Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards

(AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

As progressives around the country are calling for a purge of pro-life Democrats, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards (D) is standing strong in his conviction that abortion kills a human being and is fundamentally wrong for society. This decision is based in large part on his own personal experience after doctors advised his wife to abort their daughter 30 years ago due to health complications. The family refused, and she is now living a well-adjusted life. Next week, Gov. Edwards could sign legislation which would ban abortion after a heartbeat is detected in the baby. 

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NBC News reported, "Nearly three decades ago, when Democratic Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards' wife was 20 weeks pregnant with their first child, a doctor discovered their daughter had spina bifida and encouraged an abortion. The Edwardses refused. Now, daughter Samantha is married and working as a school counselor..." 

Gov. Edwards told NBC, "My position hasn't changed. In eight years in the Legislature, I was a pro-life legislator...I'm as consistent as I can be on that point." 

The Louisiana bill is similar to ones passed in four other states just this past year. Last year, Gov. Edwards signed a bill which limited abortion to 15-weeks. As Lauretta Brown reported at the time, "the bill’s sponsor, Democratic state Sen. John Milkovich, said the bill was a step in the right direction."

“We thank and commend our pro-life governor for signing this bill and once again taking a stand for life,” he said. “This is an important step forward in Louisiana’s fight to protect the unborn.”

But Louisiana Democrats like Milkovich and Edwards buck many national Democrats' stance on abortion. Just last week, Rep. Pramila Jayapal from Washington state said, "Personally, I do think there should be a core set of Democratic ideals that we all agree to...That you can't say you're a Democrat if you're against immigrants if you're against abortion if you're against gay marriage, LGBTQ rights."

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Gov. Edwards consistency on this issue and his steadfastness to his principles should be commended and not condemned, regardless of party lines. 

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