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Louisiana legislature approves abortion ban, sends to governor for signature

[JURIST] The Louisiana Senate [official website] voted unanimously Monday to send a bill [PDF text; SB 33 summary] that would ban nearly all abortions in the state to Gov. Kathleen Blanco [official website], who is expected to sign it into law. Doctors who perform abortions could face up to 10 years in prison and $100,000 fines. The bill, banning all abortions except to save the life of the mother or prevent permanent harm to the mother with no exceptions for rape or incest, will only take effect if the US Supreme Court [official website] strikes down the controversial 1973 Roe v. Wade [text] decision allowing abortion, or if the country adds an amendment to the US Constitution [text] banning abortion.

South Dakota Gov. Mike Rounds [official website] signed a similar bill into law [JURIST report] in March. The South Dakota law is scheduled to take effect on July 1, but opponents [JURIST report] say they have garnered enough signatures to force a referendum on the bill [JURIST report] in the November elections, preventing the law from coming into force. Mississippi failed to pass another abortion ban with the same intent in March when the state legislature failed to reach a compromise on the bill [JURIST report]. AP has more. From New Orleans, the Times-Picayune has local coverage.

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