June 22, 2022 – Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards has signed a bill to ban abortion in the state, with no exceptions for rape or incest.

The legislation, Senate Bill 342, would put harsher criminal penalties on abortion providers, according to The Daily Advertiser in Lafayette, LA. It toughens Louisiana’s 2006 “trigger law,” which would ban abortion in the state if the Supreme Court overturns its landmark Roe v. Wade decision this summer.

The bill exempts pregnant women from prosecution but doubles the penalties for doctors or other abortion providers to a maximum $100,000 fine and 10 years in jail. The law makes exceptions for medical emergencies and ectopic pregnancies but not for rape or incest.

Edwards, a Democrat who is a devout Catholic and has a record of supporting abortion restrictions, said he would have preferred exceptions for rape and incest, although he previously signed a bill without those exceptions, the newspaper reported.

“My position on abortion has been unwavering,” he said in a statement Tuesday. “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.”

Similar trigger laws exist in 13 other states, according to Reuters, with conservative lawmakers passing legislation based on the likelihood of the Supreme Court overturning its 1973 decision and allowing states to ban abortion.

In Louisiana, for instance, women would have to travel as far as Illinois or New Mexico for an abortion since surrounding states have approved similar abortion bans.

Louisiana state Sen. Katrina Jackson, also a Democrat, authored the current bill, as well as the amendment that declared there is no right to and no funding of abortion in the state constitution, which voters overwhelmingly approved in 2020, The Daily Advertiser reported.

“My position has been consistent throughout my life and career,” she said in a previous interview. “I believe all life is precious and should be protected from womb to tomb.”

Show Sources

The Daily Advertiser: “Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards signs abortion ban with no exceptions for rape, incest.”

Office of Gov. John Bel Edwards: “Gov. Edwards’ Statement on Signing Senate Bill 342.”

Reuters: “Louisiana governor signs law to stiffen penalties for abortion providers.”

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