Making a major break with his party’s extreme stance on abortion, a Democratic governor has signaled his support for pro-life “heartbeat” legislation which would ban abortions after the unborn baby’s heartbeat is detected (around six-weeks gestation).
Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards identifies as a rare pro-life Democrat, and apparently has personal ties to the issue.
“When I ran for governor, I said I was pro-life and so that’s something that’s consistent," he said when asked about heartbeat legislation making its way to his desk, reported Fox News.
“My position hasn’t changed. In eight years in the Legislature, I was a pro-life legislator,” Edwards said. According to Fox News, the Democrat says his faith directs him in supporting life, but that he also holds “personal significance” to the cause: “Nearly three decades ago, he and his wife decided to have his daughter, diagnosed as a baby with spina bifida, against the doctor's advice to abort.”
“I know that for many in the national party, on the national scene, that’s not a good fit. But I will tell you, here in Louisiana, I speak and meet with Democrats who are pro-life every single day," Edwards noted during his monthly radio show.
The governor’s position is far from his Democratic counterparts. For example, in January, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo celebrated a bill permitting abortion up to the moment of birth in the state for essentially any reason.
That same month, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam endorsed abortion-til-birth and infanticide during a radio interview.
“When we talk about third-trimester abortions, these are done with the consent of the mother, with the consent of physicians, more than one physician by the way, and it’s done in cases where there may be severe deformities, there may be a fetus which is non-viable. So in this particular example, if the mother is in labor, I can tell you exactly what would happen, the infant would be delivered, the infant would be kept comfortable, the infant would be resuscitated if this is what the mother and the family desired, and then a discussion would ensue between the physician and the mother,” Northam said.
And during the 2016 presidential election, the party’s nominee, Hillary Clinton, supported abortion up until the moment of birth without restriction and said she’d work to end the Hyde Amendment, which currently stops the federal government (your tax dollars) from funding abortion.
“I will always defend Planned Parenthood. And I will say consistently and proudly: Planned Parenthood should be funded, supported, and appreciated; not undermined, misrepresented, and demonized. I believe we need to protect access to safe and legal abortion, not just in principal but in practice,” Mrs. Clinton said in 2016.
Conservative legislators have been teeing-up a showdown at the Supreme Court with a slew of pro-life legislation in the past few months. The Alabama Human Life Protection Act, signed into law on Wednesday by Republican Gov. Kay Ivey, serves as the nation’s strictest anti-abortion law. The law totally outlaws abortion, save an exemption for the life of the mother, and targets third-party abortionists with life in prison for carrying out illegal procedures.