Baton Rouge, La. – Governor John Bel Edwards has signed into law a ban on abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy– which means that Louisiana and Mississippi now have the most restrictive abortion laws in the country. But there’s a catch.
Louisiana lawmakers, afraid the state will have to defend the new law against costly legal challenges, decided to make the law inactive unless Mississippi’s abortion law is upheld by federal courts.
Mississippi’s abortion law, which also bans abortions after 15 weeks, was signed into law in March but is being contested in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth District.
The new Louisiana law includes language making it clear that it will not be enforced unless the Fifth District Court– and the U.S. Supreme Court– “upholds the authority of the states to prohibit elective abortions on demand.”
If the Louisiana law does take effect, anyone who performs an abortion will face between one and ten years in prison, and a fine between ten thousand and one hundred thousand dollars.
However, the law spells out that a woman who has an abortion will not face the same penalty.