The national debate over abortion takes center stage here in Louisiana as state lawmakers consider what’s called the heartbeat bill, a ban on abortions after a heartbeat is detected in the fetus by a physician. Protections for the unborn and women’s health are the two pillars of the debate.
Pregnant women seeking an abortion in Louisiana and those who champion their right to choose are watching state lawmakers very closely.
Sen. John Milovich, a Shreveport Democrat, is pushing the controversial fetal heartbeat bill.
Another bill by Rep. Raymond Crews, a Bossier City Republican, would put new regulations on abortion clinics requiring them to keep certain records as long as 30 years.
State Rep. Frank Hoffmann, a Republican from West Monroe, would tack on regulations to medically induced abortions that would require women to get abortion-inducing drugs from abortion clinics rather than pharmacists.
And the Louisiana Admitting Privilege law is already pending before the high court. It’s backed by Rep. Katrina Jackson, a Democrat from Monroe.
As part of women’s health week, hundreds of women stood outside of the Louisiana state capital advocating for women’s rights.
Meanwhile, the heartbeat bill concept is being considered by lawmakers in other states including Mississippi, Georgia, and Missouri.
Alabama lawmakers approved the near-total ban on abortion this week in an effort to challenge the 1973 Supreme Court Roe v. Wade decision and would make abortion a felony in almost all cases.
The Louisiana Bureau of Vital Records and Statistics has been collecting records on abortions in Louisiana since 1999.