Louisiana is moving forward with a bill that would ban abortions after an unborn baby’s heartbeat begins.
A Senate committee passed the legislation today. Because many women do not even know they are pregnant at this early stage, the legislation could protect almost all unborn babies in Louisiana if it goes into effect.
The measure is Senate Bill 184 by Sen. John Milkovich, D-Shreveport, and members of the Senate Judiciary C Committee voted 5-2 for it.
Pro-Life Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards is likely to sign it into law.
“We feel like this bill is an important statement about Louisiana’s devotion to the unborn,” Milkovich said. “This bill is a step forward in our efforts to protect life.”
“Perhaps the root of that is the view that an unborn baby is less than human,” he said. “The moment we devalue human life we can justify mistreatment.”
“We believe every unborn child deserves a fundamental right to life,” said Louisiana’s Right to Life executive director Ben Clapper, who called the fetal heartbeat a clear marker of life.
Milkovich said Americans have become comfortable with abortion and compared it to the horrors of slavery and the “mistreatment of (American) Indians.”
The Heartbeat Bill, when it goes into effect, will prohibit abortion when a human heartbeat can be detected. An abdominal ultrasound can detect a heartbeat between eight and twelve weeks. A recent Marist Poll found that 80% of Americans want to limit abortions no later than three months of pregnancy (12 weeks), and another poll found that 56% of voters are in favor of Heartbeat Bills specifically.
A bill that makes abortions in Louisiana illegal if a fetal heartbeat is detected, was approved Tuesday by a Louisiana State Senate Committee.
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The bill from State Senator John Milkovich now heads to the full Senate for consideration.
The bill would only become law if a federal appeals court upholds a similar law in Mississippi.
This year, pro-life lawmakers have introduced a number of heartbeat bills including in Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, Tennessee and Texas. Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine recentlymade Ohio the 6th state to make it law.
Kentucky also passed a heartbeat law this year, but a federal judge already has blocked it.
Some pro-lifers have renewed hope that the new conservative-majority U.S. Supreme Court will uphold an abortion ban and overturn Roe v. Wade. Others, however, are hesitant because of concerns about losing the court battle and being forced to reimburse pro-abortion groups for their legal fees.
The Supreme Court took away the states’ ability to protect unborn babies from abortion under Roe v. Wade, and instead allowed abortion on demand through all nine months of pregnancy. Roe made the United States one of only seven countries in the world that allows elective abortions after 20 weeks. There is more hope that the new conservative-majority U.S. Supreme Court may consider overturning Roe, but it is difficult to say if it would for certain – especially after Chief Justice John Roberts recently sided with the liberal justices on an abortion case.