Today, Gov. John Bel Edwards announced that he has signed Senate Bill 342 by Sen. Katrina Jackson, which is relative to the application of Louisiana’s abortion statutes. While this legislation is similar to that passed in 2006, which is effective upon Roe V. Wade being overturned, Senate Bill 342 would expand the exceptions contained in the 2006 legislation to include instances of medical futility and ectopic pregnancies. Further, this bill will confirm what is unclear in the 2006 legislation, which is that emergency contraception is available under Senate Bill 342 for victims of rape and incest prior to when a pregnancy can be clinically diagnosed.
Gov. Edwards said:
“My position on abortion has been unwavering. I am pro-life and have never hidden from that fact. 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. In fact, vetoing Senate Bill 342 would leave fewer exceptions in place than if the bill becomes law and would further confuse whether pregnancy begins at fertilization or implantation. For these reasons, I have signed Senate Bill 342 into law.”