On 30 May, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards passed a law banning abortion as soon as a heart beat is detected, normally around the sixth week of pregnancy. An exception is provided if the mother’s life is in jeopardy. Louisiana lawmakers overwhelmingly approved the ban with a vote of 79 to 23 in the House and 31 to 5 in the Senate.
Many other American states such as Georgia, Ohio, Mississippi, Kentucky, Iowa, and North Dakota have recently passed similar legislation. Alabama has also banned almost all abortions, even in cases of incest or rape. Missouri, in turn, has passed legislation to reduce the abortion period to the eighth week of pregnancy. However, several of these laws are currently being challenged in court.
Janet Mills, the Governor of Maine, has signed a bill allowing non-physicians to perform abortions, including nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and nurse-midwives.
For further reading:
U.S.: Supreme Court partially invalidates Indiana’s law on abortion
U.S.: Governor signs law prohibiting abortion in Alabama
U.S.: Georgia to become the fourth state to adopt the “Heartbeat bill”
Abortion: the “Heartbeat bill” adopted by Mississippi Lawmakers
Heartbeat bill: Kentucky’s turn to vote
AFP (29/05/19) ; Washington Times, Melinda Deslatte (30/05/19) – Louisiana’s Democratic governor signs abortion ban into law ; Washington Times (30/05/19) – Gov. Mills signs bill to expand abortion providers in Maine