New Orleans City Council President Helena Moreno and Vice President Jason Williams will introduce a resolution June 6 condemning the abortion measure signed into law by Gov. John Bel Edwards this week that would ban abortions in Louisiana once an embryo's heartbeat is detected — around six weeks.
The law does not contain exceptions for rape and incest. Both exceptions were heavily discussed on the House floor but the majority of lawmakers voted against them.
“I am not man enough to tell a woman that’s had her insides ripped apart and been raped, ‘You know what? Live with it.’” — State Rep. Ted James, who dissented.
Moreno said the law would negatively impact women's health care and stressed the need for sex education in reducing unplanned pregnancies.
"This dangerous abortion ban will not prevent abortion, but it will trample on women's rights, their agency and their health care," she said in a statement. "We do have to prevent unplanned pregnancies — through comprehensive sex education and broad access to birth control, not a heartless ban that doesn't even provide any exceptions for rape or incest."
Williams said the law was "dangerous and unjust" and part of a "nationwide war being waged against reproductive rights" as similar restrictive abortion measures have passed through state legislatures this year.
"I am deeply disappointed by the decisions our state officials are making that could have long-lasting negative impacts on the health of our city and our state," he said in a statement. "I trust women and follow their lead as we all say together, 'Keep abortion safe and legal, stop the bans.'"
Louisiana is likely to pass its own so-called “fetal heartbeat” bill that will only go into effect if courts uphold the Mississippi law.
The law only will go into effect if the courts uphold Mississippi's version of the law passed in March. A federal judge temporarily blocked the law May 24, keeping it from going into effect starting July 1.
The same judge struck down Mississippi's 15-week abortion ban last year, preventing Louisiana's law from taking effect thus far.