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New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu.

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON

Last week, Republican Gov. Phil Bryant signed a bill into law making Mississippi the first state in the nation to ban abortions past 15 weeks of delivery.

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards was asked about the legislation and did not waffle. Edwards, a Democrat, has not been shy about being anti-abortion and said he would be inclined to sign a 15-week abortion ban. The ban on abortions in Louisiana is currently at 20 weeks.

Edward’s statement on the Mississippi law is no small thing. The Mississippi 15-week ban is the strongest anti-abortion legislation ever passed in our nation. For Edwards to sign it would enrage the fastest-growing segment of his party, the hard left.

Edwards said he would need to see specific legislation before committing, but he has no opposition to the concept of barring abortions after the 15-week period.

"As people know, or should know, I am very much a pro-life individual," he said.

Edwards did try to throw his base a bone after coming out in favor of the 15-week abortion ban. He compared his views on abortion to his decision to expand Medicaid in Louisiana, providing health care coverage to nearly 470,000 people since his executive order in 2016.

"The same Catholic Christian faith that informs my view on abortion also informs my view on Medicaid expansion," he said. "It just happens that one of those positions is deemed to be on the conservative side of things and one on the liberal or progressive side.”

Meanwhile, New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu was soaking up more of the national spotlight this past week after Politico ran a story entitled “The Southern Democrat who could shake up the 2020 field.” Politico first referred to Landrieu as a Cajun in the original title. I guess those D.C. types think of all of us down here on the bayou are Cajuns.

Despite what Landrieu says, he clearly has political ambitions beyond Louisiana. I tried to pin him down recently on his position on abortion. See if you can decipher a position from his prepared statement:

”I believe that life is precious and should be treated with reverence from beginning to end. Creating a culture of life that is a seamless garment, is the goal I aspire to. It is essential that we not only work together to reduce the number of abortions in America, but also alleviate the conditions that many women face which cause them to make this incredibly painful choice in the first place. My votes in the Legislature and my governing philosophy reflect these beliefs. I have worked to balance these competing and compelling interests and to reconcile my faith with my oath to the constitution.”

Ambiguity anyone? I understand abortion is a difficult topic, and most people would rather not think about it. But it is incumbent upon those seeking office to take a strong, clear and decisive position on abortion. They owe that to the unborn baby desperately in need of protection.

A federal judge has already temporarily blocked Mississippi’s abortion ban bill. A long legal fight is ahead. A bill similar to the one in Mississippi has been introduced in the Louisiana Legislature by a Democrat, state Sen. John Milkovich, of Keithville. Under Milkovich's bill, anyone who performs an abortion after the 15-week period could face up to 10 years in prison and a $100,000 fine.

If you believe one of the most important jobs of a politician is to protect the most vulnerable among us, then it's safe to say most are failing miserably. A mother’s womb is one of the most dangerous places in America today. Bryant hopes to make his state the safest for an unborn baby. Credit John Bel Edwards for bucking his own party and taking a courageous stand along with Bryant.

Email Dan Fagan at faganshow@gmail.com.