Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards -the Deep South’s only Democratic Governor- defied his party Friday and signed his state’s newest ‘Heartbeat’ law; becoming the latest state to limit abortions after six weeks of pregnancy.
“The signature puts Edwards further out of step with the Democratic Party, whose platform is to allow the government to pay for abortions. Lawmakers in blue states also are pushing for looser restrictions on abortion and to codify abortion rights,” reports the Washington Examiner.
“I know there are many who feel just as strongly as I do on abortion and disagree with me — and I respect their opinions,” Edwards said Wednesday. “As I prepare to sign this bill, I call on the overwhelming bipartisan majority of legislators who voted on it to join me in continuing to build a better Louisiana.”
The Illinois House passed a controversial pro-choice bill this week; repealing the state’s ban on partial birth abortions that may occur in late stage pregnancies.
“After a lengthy and emotional debate, the Illinois House passed a controversial abortion rights bill Tuesday that opponents characterized as extreme but supporters say is necessary to protect women as several states enact more restrictive laws,” reports the Chicago Tribune.
“The bill would repeal the Illinois Abortion Law of 1975 and its provisions that called for spousal consent, waiting periods, criminal penalties for physicians who perform abortions and other restrictions on facilities where abortions are performed. The bill would establish ‘the fundamental right’ of a pregnant woman to have an abortion and states that ‘a fertilized egg, embryo, or fetus does not have independent rights,’” adds the article.
The legislation -titled the Reproductive Health Act- repeals Illinois’ ban on ‘partial birth abortions’ that may occur in late-stage pregnancy.
“Today, Illinois says we are better than this war on women,” Chicago Democrat Rep. Kelly Cassidy said. “Illinois says we trust women. Please join me in saying that loud and clear: ‘We trust women.’”
The abortion debate has taken center stage in recent weeks after several conservative states -including Alabama- passed strict anti-abortion legislation.
“The bill, known as HB314, criminalizes abortion in nearly every scenario, without any exceptions for cases of rape or incest, regardless of how far along a woman’s pregnancy is. By far the most restrictive abortion bill to emerge at the state level in recent months, it was specifically meant to initiate a legal battle that could end up before the Supreme Court — where a solid conservative majority has emerged during the Trump administration,” reports Fox News.
“The American people want a fresh debate and a new direction, achieved by consensus and built on love for both mothers and babies. The time is coming for the Supreme Court to let that debate go forward,” Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of pro-life organization the Susan B. Anthony List, said in a statement on Wednesday.
“This bill is about challenging Roe v. Wade and protecting the lives of the unborn because an unborn baby is a person who deserves love and protection,” said one state representative who supports the bill.
Read the full report at the Washington Examiner.