BATON ROUGE, La. — The Latest on legislative action on bills seeking to add new restrictions on abortion in Louisiana (all times local):
Lawmakers have voted to make Louisiana the fifth state to prohibit a commonly used second-trimester abortion procedure.
The Senate gave final legislative passage to the bill with a 36-2 vote Tuesday, sending it to Gov. John Bel Edwards’ desk. The House already had overwhelmingly supported the measure.
The bill by Rep. Mike Johnson, a Republican from Bossier City, would ban a procedure called dilation and evacuation, known as D&E. The procedure would only be allowed if necessary to prevent “serious health risk” to the mother.
Similar laws have been passed in four other states, with anti-abortion groups describing the procedures as “dismemberment abortions.” State courts have blocked the laws in Kansas and Oklahoma.
A House-approved proposal to ban abortions performed because the fetus is determined to have a genetic abnormality has stalled in the Senate amid concerns it’s unconstitutional.
Members of the Senate health care committee didn’t vote Tuesday on the bill by Rep. Rick Edmonds, a Baton Rouge Republican, saying they’d like to see if they could rework the language.
Senators suggested they believed the current proposal could be deemed as running afoul of court decisions that uphold a woman’s right to an abortion.
Supporters of the bill said they didn’t believe it restricted a woman’s ability to have an abortion because it would penalize the doctor, not the woman. Edmonds said he’d work to try to find a compromise and bring the bill back next week.
House Bill 1019: www.legis.la.gov