On Monday, the Louisiana Senate passed Senate Bill 184, which would ban abortions after the preborn child has a detectable heartbeat. The measure passed with a vote of 31-5 in the Senate. The Louisiana House will now consider the bill. If passed in the House, the bill is likely to be signed into law by pro-life Democratic Governor John Bel Edwards.
The author of the bill, Senator John Milkovich (D-Shreveport), said in a statement, “This is another victory in defense of the lives of the unborn and another blow upon the abortion cartel’s effort to assault the next generation with infanticide.” He added, “As was pointed out at the April 30 hearing, life begins at conception [fertilization] scientifically, when the 23 chromosomes of the father unite with the 23 chromosomes of the mother to form a single living cell of immense complexity and unimaginable levels of DNA contained information.”
The Louisiana bill would require an ultrasound to determine if there is a detectable fetal heartbeat, which can occur as early as six weeks into the pregnancy. Initially, the Senate Committee included an exception for pregnant women who had been the victim of rape or incest, but the amendment was rescinded.
If the legislation is signed into law, Louisiana would become the fifth state to enact a heartbeat bill. This year, Kentucky, Mississippi, Ohio, and Georgia all enacted similar legislation. According to the Baton Rouge Advocate, the Louisiana law would not take effect until a ruling in the federal appeals court on a challenge to Mississippi’s heartbeat bill. Legislators added a “trigger” provision to the bill in committee that ties the bill to the Mississippi decision in order to avoid a costly legal battle for Louisiana.
In response to Georgia’s Governor Brian Kemp signing a similar ban this week, Live Action President Lila Rose said, “This law acknowledges the scientific fact that the pro-abortion movement tries desperately to ignore: This is a unique, individual human life in the womb, not a ‘clump of cells;’ and just three weeks after fertilization, the child’s little heart is already beating. It’s time for society and our laws to acknowledge that there are two human beings in a pregnancy – a baby and his or her mother – and both deserve protection.”
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