On Thursday, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards (D) bucked party lines and signed SB 184, a bill banning most abortions in the state.
In a press release, the state's Democrat governor said that, by signing the pro-life bill into law, he is remaining true to both his word and beliefs:
“In 2015, I ran for governor as a pro-life candidate after serving as a pro-life legislator for eight years. As governor, I have been true to my word and beliefs on this issue.”
Edwards’ position on abortion is a deeply personal one. When his wife was pregnant with their first child, doctors found that the child had spina bifida and encouraged the couple to abort. They refused and now that daughter, Samantha, is almost 30 and lives a normal life as a school counselor.
Donna Edwards, John’s wife, said of their daughter in a 2015 campaign ad:
“I was devastated – but, John Bel never flinched. He said, ‘No, no; we’re going to love this baby no matter what.’”
The bill outlaws abortion once a fetus’s heartbeat can be detected, at approximately six weeks of pregnancy. It includes exceptions only if the mother’s health is at “serious risk” and does not provide exceptions for rape, incest or other extreme circumstances.
Democrats have vowed to oppose all such pro-life legislation. “When Republicans are taking away women’s rights at every step, it’s on the Democrats to show that we are the party that will protect women. When we fail to do that, we make it absolutely hopeless for women around the country,” Democratic consultant Rebecca Katz said of the bill.
Edwards faces re-election in November of this year. His two major Republican opponents, Eddie Rispone and Ralph Abraham have tried to connect him to the increasingly pro-abortion politics of the national Democratic Party, even though the number abortions in Louisiana has declined with Edwards in office.