Louisiana’s Dem Governor Signs Anti-Abortion ‘Fetal Heartbeat’ Bill Into Law

State Rep. John Bel Edwards, of Amite, a candidate for governor in Louisiana at an annual Democratic event. (Photo by Julie Dermansky/Corbis via Getty Images)
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May 30, 2019 6:33 p.m.

Louisiana joined the string of red states’ efforts to ban abortion when the state’s Democratic governor, John Bel Edwards, signed a “fetal heartbeat” bill on Thursday.

Under the new law, a person would be prohibited from getting an abortion as soon as the fetus’ heartbeat is detected, effectively banning abortion as early as six weeks from conception.

Georgia, Mississippi, Ohio, and Kentucky have all passed similar bills. However, Edwards is the first Democratic governor to sign such a measure. Additionally, Louisiana’s law doesn’t make exceptions for cases of rape and incest.

When the Louisiana state legislature passed the bill on Wednesday, Edwards announced that he was going to approve the measure once it reached his desk.

“In 2015, I ran for governor as a pro-life candidate after serving as a pro-life legislator for eight years,” Edwards said in a statement via Twitter. “As governor, I have been true to my word and my beliefs on this issue.”

The Louisiana governor has been open about his anti-abortion stance, despite blowback from the rest of his party.

“That’s what my Catholic Christian faith requires,” Edwards once said on his monthly radio show, according to the Associated Press. “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.”

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