BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Louisiana would follow other conservative states in seeking to ban abortions if a fetal heartbeat is detected, typically around the sixth week of pregnancy, under a bill that took its first steps in the Senate.
Senators on a judiciary committee voted 5-2 Tuesday to advance the proposal to the full Senate for consideration. But they rewrote the measure so the prohibition only would take effect if a federal appeals court upholds a similar law in Mississippi.
Sen. John Milkovich, a Keithville Democrat, says he brought the bill to lawmakers "to protect children."
Opponents say the proposal is unconstitutional and would eliminate abortion as an option before many women even realize they are pregnant.
The legislation does not include an exception if the pregnancy was caused by rape or incest.