Democratic Governor Signs Restrictive Abortion Ban in Louisiana
In a huge step backwards for reproductive rights, the Louisiana governor has signed a bill that will prevent abortions in the state after 15 weeks.
Louisiana became the second state in the United States with a 15-week abortion ban. Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards, who supports abortion restrictions, signed Senate Bill 181 into law on Wednesday. The measure bans abortions at 15 weeks of gestation without exceptions for cases of rape and incest. Health providers could face up to two years in prison if they offer an abortion after that time frame, but women seeking the procedure wouldn't be criminally prosecuted. A similar ban was enacted in Mississippi in March, before it was temporarily blocked by a U.S. Judge. In April, the Center for Reproductive Rights filed a major lawsuit against Mississippi, challenging dozens of anti-choice laws in the state on behalf of the state's only abortion provider, the Jackson Women's Health Center. Louisiana, which will continue to ban abortions at 20 weeks while the Mississippi case is decided, is one of the states with the most restrictive laws on abortion.