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Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards speaks onstage at the 2017 ESSENCE Festival presented by Coca-Cola at Ernest N. Morial Convention Center on June 30, 2017 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo: Paras Griffin/Getty Images for 2017 ESSENCE Festival)

Joining Wave of GOP Anti-Choice Attacks, Louisiana's Democratic Governor Signs Abortion Ban Authored By Democrat

"Women are the base of the Democratic Party, and if you're not fighting alongside us, you don't deserve to represent the American people."

Jake Johnson

As Republicans across the country launch legislative attacks on women's reproductive rights with the ultimate goal of overturning Roe v. Wade, it was Louisiana Democrats who led the charge Thursday in enshrining the latest state-level abortion ban into law.

Louisiana's Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards, a long-time opponent of women's right to choose, signed legislation Thursday that would bar abortion as early as six weeks into a pregnancy—before many women are even aware they are pregnant.

The widely denounced bill—which easily passed the GOP-controlled state legislature on Wednesday with the support of more than a dozen Democratic lawmakers—was authored by Democratic state Sen. John Milkovich.

In a statement, NARAL Pro-Choice America political director Nicole Brener-Schmitz warned Louisiana's governor that he "won't get a pass just because he is a Democrat."

"Women are the base of the Democratic Party, leading the charge for equality by fighting for reproductive freedom," said Brener-Schmitz. "Governor Edwards, and any other elected official attempting to use political overreach to roll back our rights, is mistaken to think our fundamental freedoms are up for debate. We are the majority, and if you're not fighting alongside us, you don't deserve to represent the American people."

Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who are both running for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, echoed NARAL's demand that anti-choice politicians be held accountable regardless of their party affiliation.

"Regardless of your personal beliefs, no politician—Republican or Democrat—has the right to control women's bodies or involve themselves in women's healthcare decisions," Gillibrand tweeted. "Governor John Bel Edwards is turning his back on Louisiana women by signing this shameful bill."

Sanders agreed, calling Edwards' support for the "near-total" abortion ban "an outrage."

"Regardless of party," Sanders tweeted, "we must vigorously defend a woman's constitutional right to control her own body."


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