May 29, 2019

Louisiana sends fetal heartbeat abortion ban to governor's desk

Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards

Gov. John Bel Edwards. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Louisiana legislators passed a fetal heartbeat abortion bill on Wednesday and are sending the measure to Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards' desk — who has previously said he'd break with party ties and sign it into law, reports NBC.

Why it matters: Louisiana's abortion ban is the first in the recent wave to receive the stamp of approval from Democratic lawmakers, per the Washington Post, sparking backlash within the party. If Edwards — who ran as an anti-abortion rights candidate — signs the bill, Louisiana will be the 5th state to sign off on fetal heartbeat legislation.

Context: As the Democrats have trended further left of center in recent years, party leadership has indicated that those who fail to fight for abortion rights are "fundamentally out of step with the Democratic platform," per the Washington Post. "But, in Louisiana, antiabortion sentiment has long been part of the cultural milieu. The issue isn’t nearly as divisive as it is on the national stage."

Details: The state Senate approved the bill without exception for rape or incest. Louisiana is also weighing a bill to add a constitutional amendment declaring that the state doesn’t protect abortion rights, per AP.

Go deeper: Where abortion restrictions stand: The states that have passed laws

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