Louisiana Governor, John Bel Edwards (D) signed legislation banning abortions on babies 15 weeks and older (pending the outcome of a legal challenge in Mississippi).

SB 181 would create criminal penalties for anyone performing an abortion after 15 weeks.  The sentence for violation is up to ten years in prison, and a fine between $10,000-$100,000.  The law does exempt the woman seeking abortion from punishment.

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards, a Democrat, signed legislation today banning abortions on babies 15 weeks or older, pending the outcome of a legal challenge.

The law, SB 181, would sentence any abortionist who commits an abortion beyond that date to a prison sentence of up to ten years and a fine between $10,000 and $100,000, though it expressly exempts the woman seeking the abortion from punishment.

abortionMississippi tried to enact the same type of bill in March, but was put on hold due to the state’s only abortion clinic.

Milkovich’s bill is deemed more restrictive than previous ones due to the criminal penalties that it would impose on clinics.  Those who testified in favour of the bill during hearings was Dr. Wayne Gravois, who is a family practitioner from Zachary.

Gravois said, “They can yawn, smile, grimace (at 15 weeks).  It’s a baby.”

Meanwhile, Lift Louisiana has decided to enact their own media campaign on Wednesday which states that Louisiana abortion laws prevent women from receiving safe, timely medical care.  The ad campaign is running on Facebook and Twitter, radio spots, print and digital billboards in Lafayette and Shreveport.  Digital ads are running in the Shreveport Times and The Daily Advertiser.

If the Louisiana bill is passed, the only other state with more restrictive access to abortions will be Iowa which bans abortions after the first six weeks of pregnancy.

The law itself does not contain exception for babies of rape victims, but allows exceptions for abortions necessary to save the woman’s life from physical danger.

Bill SB 181 will not take effect until/unless federal courts uphold Mississippi’s 15 week band enacted in March.

Currently, 17 states ban abortions after 20 weeks at which time medical evidence suggests that babies can feel pain.  The exception to this is Iowa, who based their abortion ban on the time in which a heartbeat is detected which has stronger legal protection for the unborn.  The Iowa law is set to be in effect on July 1, however both Planned Parenthood and ACLU are currently challenging it.