Louisiana governor to sign ‘heartbeat’ ban, latest move to curb U.S. abortion rights

(Reuters) – Louisiana’s Democratic governor said on Wednesday he would sign a bill passed earlier in the day to ban abortion when a fetal heartbeat is detected, the latest legislation in a movement in mostly Southern and Midwest states to curb abortion rights.

Earlier on Wednesday, Missouri’s governor renewed his intention to close a Planned Parenthood clinic and become the first state without a medical facility that performs abortions.

The Louisiana bill was approved on Wednesday by a 79-23 vote of the Republican-controlled Louisiana House of Representatives and had already passed in the state Senate.

Louisiana would join at least four other conservative-leaning states that have passed measures this year to prohibit abortion as early as six weeks. Alabama has approved a stricter law that would ban nearly all abortions in the state.

The U.S. Supreme Court may eventually be called upon to rule on the various state laws, which challenge the high court’s landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that women have a constitutional right to an abortion.

Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards would become the first Democrat this year to sign a ban on abortion when a heartbeat is detected, which can occur as early as six weeks from conception before a woman realizes she is pregnant, lending bipartisanship to the measure. The bill’s sponsor, state Senator John Milkovich, is also a Democrat.

Other states that passed similar measures this year, including Ohio, Mississippi and Missouri, are led by Republican governors.

“As I prepare to sign this bill, I call on the overwhelming bipartisan majority of legislators who voted for it to join me in continuing to build a better Louisiana that cares for the least among us and provides more opportunity for everyone,” Edwards said in a statement on Wednesday.

The measure would allow a woman to have an abortion, after detection of an embryonic heartbeat, to prevent her death or if she risks serious injury.

The Louisiana legislation will not go into effect until a U.S. Appeals Court rules on whether to allow a similar measure in neighboring Mississippi to take effect. Last week, a U.S. district judge blocked the Mississippi law from taking effect, and the Appeals Court that is expected to review the ruling also has jurisdiction over Louisiana.

DECADES-LONG FIGHT

The Roe v. Wade decision allowed states to restrict abortion from the time a fetus can viably survive outside the womb, which the opinion placed at 24 to 28 weeks from conception.

Anti-abortion campaigners have sought to overturn the decision ever since, and they see an opportunity with the newly installed 5-4 conservative majority on the Supreme Court.

While some states have sought to ban abortion at six weeks from conception, at least three states have passed measures this year to ban abortion starting at some point between eight weeks and 18 weeks.

FILE PHOTO – Missouri Governor Mike Parson signs Bill 126 into law banning abortion beginning in the eighth week of pregnancy, alongside state House and Senate members and pro-life coalition leaders at his office in Jefferson City, Missouri, U.S., May 24, 2019. Office of Governor Michael L. Parson/Handout via REUTERS.

The Louisiana House on Wednesday rejected a proposed amendment that would have allowed exceptions to the ban if a woman became pregnant during a rape or through incest.

Other states that have passed abortion restrictions this year also declined to make exceptions for rape and incest, drawing criticism from Trump, who supports such exceptions.

Abortion rights groups this year are challenging a number of state restrictions in court.

The American Civil Liberties Union and Planned Parenthood obtained an injunction from a judge in March blocking Kentucky’s ban on abortions, which would apply as early as six weeks from conception.

On another front in the battle, Planned Parenthood sued the Missouri department of health on Tuesday after the department told the state’s only abortion clinic it could not approve a license until it interviewed seven doctors that worked there.

The license for the clinic, which Planned Parenthood operates, is due to expire on Friday.

Missouri Governor Mike Parson, a Republican, on Wednesday reiterated his intention to close the clinic for failing to meet state licensing standards.

Planned Parenthood said in a statement that Parson’s remarks were “not based on medicine, facts or reality,” and it will do “everything to ensure our patients get the best medical care available.”

Slideshow (2 Images)

Last week, Parson signed into law a measure banning abortion in Missouri after the eighth week of a woman’s pregnancy.

(Story was refiled to remove “Bel” from governor’s name in paragraph 8)

Reporting by Gabriella Borter and Alex Dobuzinskis, Editing by Bill Tarrant and Grant McCool

Source

more recommended stories

  • Teleflex recalls breathing tubes worldwide after reports of 4 deaths

    (Reuters) – Teleflex Inc said on.

  • In border camps, Syrians rely on doctors in trucks and tents

    AZAZ, Syria (Reuters) – The Syrian.

  • Thailand bans pig imports from Laos after African swine fever outbreak

    BANGKOK (Reuters) – Thailand will ban.

  • FDA approves drug for loss of sexual desire in women

    (Reuters) – The U.S. drug regulator.

  • Missouri orders lone abortion clinic to close; judge keeps it open for now

    ST. LOUIS (Reuters) – Missouri health.

  • Merck CEO sees legal challenge if U.S. adopts drug pricing based on other countries

    NEW YORK (Reuters) – Merck &.

  • Strobing stage lights could up risk of epileptic seizures

    (Reuters Health) – Flashing light effects.

  • Euthanasia law takes effect in Australia’s Victoria state

    MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Voluntary euthanasia became.

  • China to suspend pork imports from third Canadian firm as dispute with Ottawa deepens

    BEIJING (Reuters) – China will block.

  • U.S. records 22 new measles cases, bringing year’s total to 1,044

    (Reuters) – The United States recorded.

  • WHO likely to declare Ebola an international emergency: experts

    GENEVA (Reuters) – The World Health.

  • WHO panel decides not to declare international Ebola emergency

    GENEVA (Reuters) – A World Health.

  • U.S. drugmakers file lawsuit against requiring drug prices in TV ads

    FILE PHOTO: Used blister packets that.

  • Death toll from UK hospital listeria outbreak rises to five

    LONDON (Reuters) – The number of.

  • Female soldiers wanting to suppress periods face barriers

    (Reuters Health) – Military women wanting.

  • Chronic depression after heart attack tied to increased risk of death

    (Reuters Health) – Heart attack survivors.

  • North Korea steps up measures to prevent spread of African swine fever

    SEOUL (Reuters) – North Korea has.

  • Missouri’s only abortion clinic to stay open after injunction issued

    (Reuters) – The only abortion clinic.

  • China to tighten rules on foreigners using genetic material

    FILE PHOTO: A researcher inserts a.

  • Experimental drug delays type 1 diabetes onset in mid-stage trial

    (Reuters Health) – In people at.

  • Abbott device helps in cutting blood sugar in type 2 diabetics: study

    (Reuters) – Insulin-dependent patients with type.

  • USDA investigates unapproved GMO wheat found in Washington state

    CHICAGO (Reuters) – The U.S. Department.

  • As pressure for Afghan peace grows, drug threat remains

    KANDAHAR, Afghanistan (Reuters) – Mohammad Ahmadi,.

  • One in four Ebola cases undetected in Congo: WHO

    GENEVA (Reuters) – Roughly a quarter.

  • U.S. health agency cancels research contract involving use of fetal tissue

    (Reuters) – The Department of Health.

  • Many U.S. kids still eating laundry pods

    Many American children are still being.

  • Nipah virus resurfaces in India’s Kerala after killing 17 last year

    NEW DELHI (Reuters) – The deadly.

  • Therapy in the office: banks take mental health fight in-house

    LONDON (Reuters) – In ‘Billions’, a.

  • Lynparza stalls pancreatic cancer in patients with BRCA mutations: study

    CHICAGO (Reuters) – AstraZeneca and Merck.

  • Novartis hopes Kisqali data will help narrow gap to blockbuster rival

    ZURICH (Reuters) – Novartis has released.

  • Missouri abortion clinic to stay open for now after court order

    ST. LOUIS (Reuters) – Missouri’s only.

  • South Korea braces for African swine fever outbreak after North Korea case

    SEOUL (Reuters) – South Korea readied.