Louisiana Fetal Heartbeat Abortion Ban (SB 184)
This law was last updated on May 30, 2019
SB 184 prohibits a person from performing an abortion when a fetal heartbeat has been detected, unless it’s necessary to prevent a serious risk of irreversible impairment or the death of the pregnant person.
Cardiac activity can be detected as early as six weeks of pregnancy—two weeks after a person’s first missed period—and well before many people even realize that they are pregnant.
The law does not apply to abortions that are performed when a pregnancy is diagnosed as medically futile.
The bill requires an abortion provider to first perform an examination for the presence of a fetal heartbeat using “standard medical practice.”
A physician who performs or induces an abortion after a fetal heartbeat is detected would be fined up to $1,000 per incidence and/or imprisoned for up to two years. They would also have their medical license revoked.
If an abortion is necessary to prevent the death or injury of a pregnant person, the abortion provider would be required to specify in the pregnant person’s medical records which of the exceptions the person performing the abortion has invoked.
The law will only take effect if/when the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit upholds Mississippi’s nearly identical law, SB 2116.
3/27/19 – Prefiled.
4/8/19 – Introduced.
4/30/19 – Amended; passed senate committee.
5/6/19 – Passed the Senate by a 31-5 vote.
5/15/19 – Passed house committee.
5/29/19 – Passed the House by a 79-23 vote.
5/30/19 – Signed into law by Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards.