BATON ROUGE, La. — A proposal to ban abortions in Louisiana as early as the sixth week of pregnancy continued to speed through the state legislature Wednesday, a day after Alabama lawmakers voted for what could become the nation’s most restrictive law against the procedure.
Without objection, the Louisiana House Health and Welfare Committee backed legislation to prohibit abortions when a fetal heartbeat is detected, similar to laws passed in several conservative states that are aimed at challenging the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1973 decision that legalized abortion. Louisiana’s ban, however, only would take effect if a federal appeals court upholds a similar law in Mississippi.
State Senators have already supported Louisiana’s so-called “heartbeat bill,” which will next receive full House consideration, one step from final passage. Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards has indicated he would sign the measure if it reaches his desk.
Senate Bill 184 and House Bills 133 and 484: www.legis.la.gov
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Melinda Deslatte, The Associated Press