The Louisiana legislature passed a prohibition on abortion Wednesday, outlawing them after a heartbeat is detected from the baby, following other states around the country who have considered and passed similar bans.
The bill passed in a 79-23 vote in the Louisiana House, a supermajority for the Republicans who drafted this bill to begin with. However, there were about 12 Democrats who joined the Republicans in favor of the ban. Now that the bill has passed the House, it will go to the governor’s desk, where he is likely to sign it.
In a pregnancy, a bloodstream and a heart, specifically a heartbeat, develop around six weeks of pregnancy or later. This means the Louisiana bill, if signed by their Democrat governor, would prohibit abortions after six weeks of pregnancy or when a heartbeat is detected.
This would be a complete abortion ban after a heartbeat, even in cases of rape or incest, despite numerous hours of debate for this exception on the House floor. However, there is one exception to the bill that would allow an abortion if the mother’s life was in danger or if the pregnancy was deemed “medically futile.”
If the bill becomes law, doctors who perform illegal abortions could face up to two years in prison and a revoking of their medical license.
Louisiana’s bill, however, even if signed into law, will not take effect until a federal judge rules in favor of it or neighbor Mississippi’s abortion ban outlives federal suspension and is allowed to take effect in their state.