BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Louisiana’s Democratic governor signed a ban on abortion as early as six weeks of pregnancy Thursday, a move that puts him squarely in line with the leaders of other conservative Southern states while provoking anger from members of his own party.
With his signature, Gov. John Bel Edwards made Louisiana the fifth state to enact a law prohibiting abortion when a fetal heartbeat is detected, joining Mississippi, Kentucky, Ohio and Georgia. Alabama’s gone further, outlawing virtually all abortions .
Louisiana’s law doesn’t contain exceptions for pregnancies from rape or incest.
The bill’s signing, however, won’t limit the state’s three abortion clinics anytime soon. Louisiana’s law takes effect only if the law in neighboring Mississippi, which was recently blocked by a judge , is upheld by a federal appeals court.
Edwards, a Catholic running for reelection this year, didn’t hold a public bill signing or issue a statement about it, instead announcing his action through his office. He had repeatedly said he intended to sign the measure, citing his faith and saying his views match those of the people in his conservative, religious state.
“This is an issue I’ve been consistent on forever. I am pro-life,” he said earlier this month on his radio show, when asked about the bill.
Louisiana legislators overwhelmingly supported the ban , with a 79-23 House vote and 31-5 Senate vote.
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