Louisiana’s Democratic Governor Approves More Jail Time for Doctors Who Provide Abortions Post-Roe

Gov. John Bel Edwards just signed a bill that could throw doctors in jail for 15 years and fine them $200,000.

Louisiana’s Democratic Governor Approves More Jail Time for Doctors Who Provide Abortions Post-Roe
Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards. Photo:Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call (Getty Images)

Democrats like to say that they are a “big tent” party—meaning they’ll welcome anti-abortion politicians with open arms and even campaign and fundraise for them, as long as the candidate has a “D” next to their name.

How’s that going for them? On Tuesday, Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards, a Democrat, signed a bill that would define life as beginning at fertilization and criminalize abortion in the state if the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, which it looks likely to do by the end of June. It’s what’s known as a trigger law, and Louisiana already has a trigger law, passed in 2006—but Edwards signed a newer, more punitive version today.

Under the existing law, doctors who provide abortions in violation of the ban could serve up to 10 years in prison and face a maximum $100,000 fine. Senate Bill 342 adds a new category of punishment for abortions performed after 15 weeks and ups the penalties to 15 years in prison and $200,000 fine.

Both bills say abortions can be performed if the pregnant person’s life is in danger, though neither version has exceptions for rape or incest. The bill Edwards signed today graciously carves out abortions done in cases of ectopic pregnancies, where the embryo grows inside the fallopian tube instead of the uterus. Ectopics are the number one cause of maternal mortality in the first trimester. Thanks at least for that, John!

Edwards claimed he wanted more exceptions in the bill but, wow guess what, he signed it anyway. “I am pro-life and have never hidden from that fact,” he said in a statement. “This does not belie my belief that there should be an exception to the prohibition on abortion for victims of rape and incest. However, vetoing Senate Bill 342 would not accomplish that end.”

I mean, he literally could have vetoed it and made the legislature send him back a different version, or let them override his veto, if he feels that strongly about it—so I guess he doesn’t give much of a shit. Come get your guy, Dems.

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