Jackson’s anti-abortion bill moves forward; Edwards says he will sign ‘heartbeat’ bill
During his monthly radio show, Gov. John Bel Edwards said he will sign a bill banning abortions after the detection of a fetal heartbeat, if the legislation arrives on his desk.
Lawmakers are nearing the final passage of a another bill that would ask voters to rewrite the state constitution to ensure it offers no protections for the procedure. The constitutional change could ban the procedure as early as six weeks of pregnancy.
The Senate voted 31-4 for the proposal by Democratic Rep. Katrina Jackson, of Monroe, asking voters to add language into the state constitution declaring that it doesn’t protect abortion rights. The proposal has been called the ” “Love Life Amendment” by one group and as anti-abortion legislation by others. The House already has approved it, but must take another vote to send it to the fall ballot. As it is written now, if the bill moves forward to voters, the ballot will read:
“Do you support an amendment to add a provision to the Louisiana Constitution stating that nothing in the constitution shall secure or protect a right to abortion or require the funding of abortion?”
It will ensure that state courts cannot establish a “right to abortion” or the tax funding of abortion in Louisiana.
The heart-beat bill legislation is sponsored by state Sen. John Milkovich, one of several measures that lawmakers are advancing to add new restrictions on abortion. It would come into play if the U.S. Supreme Court ever reverses the Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion. “We believe children are a gift from God,” said Milkovich, a Democrat from Keithville. He said his proposal provides that “once a heartbeat is detected, the baby can’t be killed.”
The bill still needs approval by the House. If enacted into law, it would ban abortions after a fetal heartbeat can be detected, usually around six weeks into pregnancy. Similar laws have been passed in several other states this year, including Kentucky, Georgia, Mississippi, and Ohio.
“My inclination is to sign it,” said Edwards. “It’s consistent with my unblemished pro-life record in my years as a legislator and governor,” he said earlier this month.
“I know that for many in the national party, on the national scene, that’s not a good fit. But I will tell you, here in Louisiana, I speak and meet with Democrats who are pro-life every single day,” he said, according to the Associated Press.
Feature photo (c) Associated Press.