Loading articles...

Louisiana 'heartbeat' abortion ban nearing final passage

FILE - In a Tuesday, April 30, 2019 photo, Sen. John Milkovich, D-Keithville, speaks about his bill to ban abortions if a fetal heartbeat is detected, in a Senate judiciary committee hearing in Baton Rouge, La. The House health care committee Wednesday, May 15, 2019 backed legislation by Democratic Sen. John Milkovich to prohibit abortions when a fetal heartbeat is detected, similar to laws passed in several conservative states. (AP Photo/Melinda Deslatte, File)

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

___

Follow Melinda Deslatte on Twitter at http://twitter.com/melindadeslatte

Melinda Deslatte, The Associated Press