Thursday, 22 August, 2019

Democrat governor to sign fetal heatbeat bill

Louisiana sports betting Louisiana passes 'heartbeat' abortion bill
Patty Aguilar | 31 May, 2019, 03:24

The fetal heartbeat can sometimes be detected before a woman knows she is pregnant - around five or six weeks in - leading critics to say the bill amounts to an unconstitutional ban on abortion.

Six states - Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi and OH - have all passed restrictive abortion laws after six weeks' gestation.

Planned Parenthood declared a "state of emergency" for women's health following the passage of laws in several states restricting or near-outright banning abortion.

The Louisiana legislation does not include an exception for a pregnancy due to rape or incest.

The bill's signing, however, won't limit the state's three abortion clinics anytime soon.

The Louisiana legislation will not go into effect until a U.S. Appeals Court rules on whether to allow a similar measure in neighboring MS to take effect.

After the state House passed the bill, Edwards released a statement defending his more progressive work during his time in office, while also standing by his choice to sign the bill. "I don't believe it is a civil rights issue", she later said of Roe v. Wade, the landmark Supreme Court case which legalized abortion throughout the country.

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In Texas, a failed bill proposed criminalizing abortion and making it possible for women to be punished via the death penalty.

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. Abortion opponents are pushing new restrictions on the procedure in hopes that a case will make its way to the high court and two new conservative justices appointed by Donald Trump could help overturn Roe.

None of the abortion bans enacted this year has taken effect, and all are expected to face legal challenges that will delay any enforcement of the prohibitions against the procedure. A judge temporarily blocked the MS law when it was passed.

The second exception is if the pregnancy was diagnosed as "medically futile", that is, the child had been declared dead in the womb. But it does not include an exception for a pregnancy caused by rape or incest, drawing criticism that the law forces continued trauma on women who have been victimized.

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.

Providers who do not comply could lose their licenses and face up to two years in prison.

A St. Louis circuit court judge is hearing arguments this morning from Planned Parenthood, which requested a restraining order against the state in order to keep its license to perform abortions.

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