Bucking many members of his party, Louisiana Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards says he'll sign an abortion restriction bill that comes to his desk should it clear the state Legislature.
The "heartbeat bill" would restrict abortions after a heartbeat is detected in the fetus, which is about six weeks into a pregnancy. The bill faces one final vote in the state House. Introduced by Democratic state Sen. John Milkovich, it passed the state Senate at the beginning of May, though a final vote on passage has not been scheduled.
The governor told a gathering organized by the Monroe (Louisiana) Chamber of Commerce on May 7 that "My inclination is to sign it," according to the Monroe News Star.
"It's consistent with my unblemished pro-life record in my years as a legislator and governor," he said.
The governor explained on his monthly radio show May 8 that signing such a bill would be in line with the values of the pro-life Democrats he knew in the state of Louisiana.
"I know that for many in the national party, on the national scene, that's not a good fit. But I will tell you, here in Louisiana, I speak and meet with Democrats who are pro-life every single day," Edwards said.
The Democratic party's 2016 platform said that "every woman should have access to quality reproductive health care services, including safe and legal abortion."
Edwards campaigned on a pro-life platform when he was first elected governor in 2015. In a TV ad released during the campaign, he explained how he and his wife opted not to have an abortion even when the couple discovered their daughter would have a spinal birth defect when she was born.
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The Louisiana bill comes as Georgia, Alabama and Missouri all recently passed restrictive abortion bills. Georgia passed a heartbeat bill similar to the one under consideration in Louisiana. Missouri banned abortion at 8 weeks of pregnancy. Alabama went a step further and outright banned all abortions except when a mother's life could be in danger. Alabama and Georgia's bills have been signed into law. Missouri's bill awaits the signature of Republican Gov. Mike Parson.
Louisiana's law would only go into effect, though, if a similar abortion bill is upheld in Mississippi. An amendment to the bill specifies that implementation would be delayed until the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals upholds Mississippi's Senate Bill 2116, rather than after the governor signs the bill.
Advocates for and against the bills say they are attempts to overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 Supreme Court decision that established a woman's right to choose.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Democratic Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards prepares to sign restrictive abortion bill