Mississippi isn't the only state with lawmakers wanting a ban on abortion after 15 weeks: the Louisiana Senate now has approved similar legislation.
The effort by Louisiana lawmakers comes after Governor Phil Bryant (R-Mississippi) signed a bill into law for his state in mid-March. Less than 24 hours later, a federal judge slapped a restraining order on that new law – and the matter is currently before a federal appeals court.
"This bill that the Louisiana Senate has passed is similar to the Mississippi law, which limits abortion after the first three months; and at three months, we're talking about a child with a beating heart who can sense light, move, hear and taste," explains Dr. Jameson Taylor of the Mississippi Center for Public Policy, which helped lawmakers write Mississippi's law, also known as House Bill 1510. "We're proud of the Louisiana legislature that they are moving to pass this commonsense legislation."
Taylor adds that research shows the later an abortion occurs, the more dangerous it is for the mother.
Louisiana's Senate passed SB181 on a 31-3 vote on Tuesday. The Louisiana House still needs to approve the measure before it can go to Governor John Bel Edwards (D-Louisiana), who, while stating that abortion is the freedom of choice, has also shared that his daughter is living proof of his pro-life views.
Taylor encourages the residents of Louisiana to take the matter to prayer. "When we were looking to pass this three-month abortion limit in Mississippi, I circled the Capitol in prayer; and I ask [people] to circle this in prayer," he says. "Call your lawmakers in Louisiana and encourage them to support this."
The bill from the Louisiana Senate does include an amendment saying it would not go into effect unless the Mississippi law is upheld by the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.