Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards has apparently signaled that he will sign a Heartbeat Bill currently working its way through the Louisiana Legislature.
Governor Edwards isn’t another “extreme totalitarian pro-lifer” leading the Republican Party off of Heartbeat Bill Cliff, however.
Governor John Bel Edwards is, in fact, a Democrat.
“When I ran for governor, I said I was pro-life and so that’s something that’s consistent,” he reportedly said when asked about the bill on Thursday.
The bill, which awaited a vote from the Louisiana House of Representatives, would make the state one of the strictest on abortion access — following a slew of other states that passed restrictions in an apparent attempt to make the Supreme Court reconsider major precedent on the issue.
Pro-life advocates have heralded measures like “heartbeat” legislation while groups like Planned Parenthood have challenged them in a series of legal battles. Louisiana’s bill could face a lawsuit from the same group — the American Civil Liberties Union — that sued Ohio over its own “heartbeat” legislation.
“My position hasn’t changed. In eight years in the Legislature, I was a pro-life legislator,” Edwards said. Edwards attributed his pro-life stance to his faith but it also appeared to hold personal significance. Nearly three decades ago, he and his wife decided to have his daughter, diagnosed as a baby with spina bifida, against the doctor’s advice to abort.
During his monthly radio show, the governor seemed to acknowledge his break with Democrats, who have continually denounced state-level legislation like Louisiana’s.
“I know that for many in the national party, on the national scene, that’s not a good fit. But I will tell you, here in Louisiana, I speak and meet with Democrats who are pro-life every single day,” he said.
Louisiana’s Heartbeat Bill is very similar to Georgia’s law in that it bans abortion past six weeks of pregnancy. The only exception allowed in Louisiana’s bill, however, is incidents in which the mother’s health is at risk. Louisiana’s Heartbeat Bill would not allow abortions in cases of rape or incest.
Squeamish “pro-life” Republicans seem to be running away from these decidedly pro-life Heartbeat Bills. Governor Edwards, a Democrat, is embracing them.
Let that sink in.