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Abortion ban similar to Texas law proposed in Louisiana ahead of legislative session

Center for Reproductive Rights

Louisiana could adopt a Texas-style law banning abortions after fetal heart tones are detected when the legislative session resumes on Monday.

Rep. Larry Bagley, R-Stonewall, filed a bill that copies a law already in effect in Texas since September.

The ban prohibits abortions at about six weeks of pregnancy — before some women might know they’re pregnant — and only about two weeks after a missed period.

Texas’ ban has caused a sharp decline in abortions performed in Texas, sending many women — if they can afford it — to travel to nearby states or seek abortion pills online.

Other states have already attempted to pass their own laws based on Texas’ ban.

Six-week abortion bans are unconstitutional under Supreme Court precedent starting with Roe v. Wade. But a Texas-style law is different from previous bans because of the way the law is enforced.

Instead of criminal penalties, the law allows for civil lawsuits against anyone who performs an abortion or even helps a woman get an abortion, essentially outsourcing enforcement to the public. The U.S. Supreme Court refused to block the law in December.

Another abortion bill submitted to the Louisiana legislature would try to cut off the supply of abortion pills online by requiring a prescription from a Louisiana-based physician.

Other proposed bills would allow local governments to enact stricter abortion regulations than at the state level, and require schools to promote adoption over abortion. And one bill would attempt to allow Louisiana to create any abortion law it likes by prohibiting the state from abiding by U.S. Supreme Court abortion precedents, starting with Roe v. Wade.