Published: May 30, 2019
By: Hunter Lovell, LSU Manship School News Service
BATON ROUGE — Nearly 300 abortion rights demonstrators gathered at the Louisiana State Capitol on Thursday to protest the “fetal heartbeat” anti-abortion bill, which Gov. John Bel Edwards signed into law later that afternoon.
The protesters staged a silent “stand-in” outside the House and Senate chambers in opposition to the bill that landed on the governor’s desk after a 79-23 House vote Wednesday.
The law bans abortions after a fetal heartbeat can be detected, which is usually around six weeks of pregnancy and before many women are aware they are pregnant. Louisiana’s “fetal heartbeat” law does not provide exceptions for victims of rape and incest.
The law will not go into effect unless a similar Mississippi law, which has been temporarily blocked by a federal judge, is upheld by a federal appeals court.
“In 2015, I ran for governor as a pro-life candidate after serving as a pro-life legislator for eight years,” Edwards said in a statement Wednesday. “As governor, I have been true to my word and my beliefs on this issue.”
Abortion rights demonstrators showed up at the Capitol to fight against the abortion ban.
“These bans hurt women,” said Rochelle Tafolla, a spokeswoman for Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast, the abortion rights group that organized the protest. “We’re here to show that we’re against (the law).”
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