Louisiana's Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards just signed a bill that prohibits abortion after a doctor can detect a fetal heartbeat, reported Fox. In doing this, he broke ranks with his party's ideology on abortion.
Edwards wasn't shy about his decision. He urged his Democratic colleagues to follow his example.
He tweeted, "I call on the overwhelming bipartisan majority of legislators who voted for it to join me in continuing to build a better Louisiana that cares for the least among us and provides more opportunity for everyone."
The fetal heartbeat abortion ban applies to pregnancies as early as six weeks. It includes exceptions only for "medically futile" instances where the mother's health is at risk or the baby is stillborn.
The bill also requires an ultrasound to confirm pregnancy. There are no exceptions for rape and incest.
The bill's passage makes Louisiana the fifth state to pass a fetal heartbeat bill. The Southern state follows Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, and Ohio.
These bills are a challenge to the Supreme Court's 1973 ruling in Roe v. Wade. In that ruling, the court legalized abortion. State lawmakers hope these laws will require the Supreme Court to take another look at their decision on abortion.
In Lousiana, doctors and medical providers who perform an abortion could face up to two years in prison and lose their medical license.
Unsurprisingly, his Democratic colleagues lashed out at Edwards. The 2020 presidential candidate Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y. accusing the governor of "turning his back on Louisiana women by signing this shameful bill."
Good for him! What a courageous move as a Democrat.