Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards, a Democrat, broke the status quo on May 30 by signing a bill that would protect the unborn when a fetal heartbeat is detected.

“I call on the overwhelming bipartisan majority of legislators who voted for it [the bill] to join me in continuing to build a better Louisiana that cares for the least among us and provides more opportunity for everyone,” Edwards said on Twitter, as reported by Fox News.

The proposed law defending the unborn applies to pregnancies as early as six weeks. The legislature includes exceptions for only circumstances that are “medically futile” such as when the health of the mother is at risk. Babies that result from rape or incest are protected under this law.

The signing of this law makes Louisiana the fifth state to pass a fetal heartbeat bill, preceded by Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi and Ohio. You can read about the heartbeat bill passed in Georgia here.

The bills that have been passed in these states challenge the constitutional right to an abortion that was given by the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court ruling in 1973.

Gov. Ivey of Alabama signed a bill on May 15 that would make carrying out abortions, at any stage of pregnancy, a felony crime that could even lead to imprisonment for life. Ivey’s bill has no exceptions except for health risks to the mother.

The bill signed by Edwards would make doctors and medical providers, who conduct abortions in Louisiana, liable to up to two years in prison and cause them to lose their medical license.

Many of the bills passed in various states have been challenged in court and deemed unconstitutional. State lawmakers aim to cause controversy that will lead to the overturning of Roe v. Wade.

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