One of the most controversial legal matters in the United States is that of abortion, no question. And to be fair to that controversy, it’s an extremely opinionated topic, where logic, emotion, legality, and science all mesh together in some way or another to affect everyone’s opinions of whether or not it should be legal. In the case of Louisiana however, it’s pretty clear how they feel on the matter.
It’s governor, John Bel Edwards, has just recently signed a bill into legislation that bans abortion once a fetal heartbeat can be detected, which generally occurs around six-eight weeks into a pregnancy. The bill does not include any type of exception for rape or incest, to the chagrin of some and the satisfaction of others.
However, it’s worth noting that this legislation will only be implemented if similar legislation that just recently passed in Mississippi is held up in court. It already passed the House of Representatives on Wednesday, with a bipartisan vote of 79 to 23. That gives a pretty good prediction of how politicians might be feeling on the matter.
It’s worth noting that governor Edwards is the first Democrat to sign a heartbeat bill like this. It’s led to a lot of questions from the community, in which he pointed out his liberal support; such as the expansion of LGBTQ rights and public healthcare. He also made a statement acknowledging that many other Democrats had opposing views to his own, and that he respects their opinion even if they disagree.
But while governor Edwards may be the first Democrat to sign a heartbeat bill, Louisiana is not the first state to pass such a bill. Ohio, Kentucky, Georgia, and Missouri all have such bills in place as well. Alabama has taken it a step further, where abortions are illegal at any stage of pregnancy, cases of rape and incest notwithstanding.
Needless to say the public feels pretty heated on the issue, with pretty firm support on both sides of the field. Considering the vote in the House of Representatives though, it could be indicative of growing support for the anti-abortion side of things in the country, though this is merely conjecture. The number of states with heartbeat bills, as mentioned previously, is quite low, and while Louisiana seeks to join their ranks, it’s no guarantee that this will become a trend.
As for whether or not the passing of this bill is representative of Louisiana’s constituents, as Edwards claims, is a vague matter that can’t really be determined without polling the entire population of the state. For now, the best anyone can do is speculate on whether or not this bill is something the people of the state really want, and whether or not it will even ultimately pass, since it won’t if the similar law in Mississippi isn’t upheld. Regardless of the decision made by the courts, this debate will likely continue to rage on for years to come.