Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards signed a new law effectively closing abortion clinics and banning all abortions if the Supreme Court follows through on overturning Roe v Wade. Louisiana now clarifies conception begins at implantation.
Senate Bill 342, which took effect upon his signature, would ban most terminations of pregnancies – including ones that result from rape or incest – upon the decision expected to be rendered later this month by the high court.
“My position on abortion has been unwavering. I am pro-life and have never hidden from that fact. This does not belie my belief that there should be an exception to the prohibition on abortion for victims of rape and incest,” Edwards said in a statement released on the governor’s website. “Further, this bill will confirm what is unclear in the 2006 legislation, which is that emergency contraception is available under SB342 for victims of rape and incest prior to when a pregnancy can be clinically diagnosed.”
SB342 would allow abortions to remove a fetus that has died in the womb; remove an ectopic pregnancy, in which the egg implants in one of the mother’s fallopian tubes; save the life of the mother; or removal of a fetus that isn’t viable outside the womb or is diagnosed with a chromosomal abnormality.
The law states the woman terminating her pregnancy would not face criminal prosecution, however, fines and penalties will be levied against doctors who perform abortions.
A doctor, or anyone else, found guilty of performing an abortion would face prison for not less than one year nor more than 10 years and be fined not less than $10,000 nor more than $100,000. If the abortion come after about the 21st week of the pregnancy, the sentences increase to a hard labor prison term of one to 15 years and a $20,000 to $200,000 fine.
A dozen states join Louisiana in having trigger laws that automatically stops abortions once the Roe decision is overturned.