The legal battle in St. Louis comes a week after Missouri Governor Mike Parson, a Republican, signed a bill banning abortion beginning in the eighth week of pregnancy, making Missouri one of nine US states to pass anti-abortion legislation this year. Several hundred pink-clad Planned Parenthood supporters filled the Louisiana Capitol to protest the ban ahead of Thursday's bill signing.
In these cases, women seeking abortions would likely be forced to have an invasive transvaginal ultrasound, which can detect an embryonic heartbeat as early as six weeks, when most woman are not aware that they are pregnant.
Planned Parenthood, which offers abortion services, said Louisiana "is part of an alarming and widely-opposed national trend of bans criminalizing abortion before many women even know they're pregnant, threatening women with investigation, and promising to throw doctors in prison for doing their jobs".
Later Thursday, Edwards announced he had signed the measure.
The ugly conflict is a natural outgrowth of the polarizing dispute that has raged since Roe v. Wade became the law of the land in 1973, with one extreme arguing that abortion was a woman's constitutional right without restriction and the other extreme portraying it as murder that should never be condoned, without exception.
"The bottom line: The ACLU of Louisiana and our partners are committed to making sure women in Louisiana and across the country have access to safe, legal abortion care - without punishment, shame or stigma", she said.
Like the Louisiana measure, the Alabama bill includes exceptions if the life of the mother is in danger or the fetus has a fatal condition. None of the bans has taken effect, and all are expected to face legal challenges.
"The bill, known as HB314, criminalizes abortion in almost every scenario, without any exceptions for cases of rape or incest, regardless of how far along a woman's pregnancy is".
An amendment to add an exemption for rape or incest failed by a 35-67 vote.
The bill's signing, however, won't limit the state's three abortion clinics anytime soon.
Democrats, including 2020 presidential candidates, expressed outrage over the governor signing the legislation.
Being pro-life, Edwards asserted, involves more than opposing abortion. The Edwardses refused, and the ad showed a grown-up Samantha.
Although similar abortion bans have drawn sharp criticism from Democrats nationwide, Louisiana's proposal won wide bipartisan support and was sponsored by a Democrat from the north-west corner of the state, Senator John Milkovich.
"The signature puts Edwards further out of step with the Democratic Party, whose platform is to allow the government to pay for abortions".
Edwards released a statement via Twitter regarding his support for the bill.
Still, the governor faced an outcry of anger on social media from Democrats who objected to his support for the abortion ban. "Democrat leaders on the national level should listen to Louisiana".
The defense of the right to abortion is the concern of the working class, and working-class women in particular, who have the greatest stakes-both personal and financial-in defending abortion and reproductive rights.
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