Louisiana has joined the ranks of states passing heartbeat bills banning abortion as early as six-weeks, once the baby's heartbeat is detected.
The stand-off between Louisiana residents and lawmakers on both sides of the issue has been fierce. Several representatives took to the statehouse floor to express their opinion before the vote.
Rep. Patricia Haynes Smith accused the pro-life bill's supporters of not caring about what happens once the babies are born. "You're interested in pro-birth but you aren't interested in what happens to that child," she said.
But Rep. Valeria Hodges said the medical evidence is proof that an unborn baby is a person with human rights.
"When a person's heart stops beating, you know their life has ended. And, when you can hear a baby's heartbeat, that is proof that life is present," Hodges said.
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This wasn't just a Republican bill. In fact, it was sponsored by Democrat state Sen. John Milkovich. And the pro-life Democrat Governor John Bel Edwards is expected to sign it.
The vote was 79-23 for the heartbeat bill, sending it to the governor's desk. After the vote, he issued a statement.
"I call on the overwhelming bipartisan majority of legislators who voted for it to join me in continuing to build a better Louisiana that cares for the least among us and provides more opportunity for everyone," he said.
About a half-dozen other states have passed similar bills. Pro-life lawmakers are hoping their laws will ultimately help challenge Roe v. Wade at the US Supreme Court.