Facts only. Here is the break down, section by section, of the Louisiana Heartbeat Bill, SB 184.

Line 2 begins with stating the overall purpose of the bill which is to prohibit abortion of an unborn human with a detectable heartbeat.

Section 1 starting on line 6, page 1, and ending on line 3, page 4 is the following:

(1)(a) states that any abortion that is performed should be required to have an ultrasound in order to determine whether or not a fetal heartbeat is present and that the results need to be put in the pregnant woman’s medical record

(b) states that it is unlawful for any person to knowingly perform an abortion with the specific intent of aborting a like when a fetal heartbeat has been detected unless it falls under one of the exemptions that will be mentioned in the falling subsections. Any reason for an abortion past the heartbeat being detected needs to also be put in the medical records.

(2)(a) says that abortions may be performed after the detection of a fetal heartbeat if it prevents the death of a pregnant woman or prevents any serious risk of substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function of the pregnant woman.

(b)(i) states that the person who performs this medical procedure must declare in writing and under the penalty of perjury that this abortion was medically necessary.

(ii) states that the person who performs the abortion shall place the written documentation on the woman’s medical records and shall maintain a copy of this for not less than 7 years.

(3) states that a person will not be in violation of this law if the person has performed an examination for the presence of a heartbeat and that the ultrasound doesn’t show a fetal heartbeat or if the person has been informed by a physician that the examination didn’t reveal a fetal heartbeat.

(4) the definition of “abortion” will not include an abortion performed when the pregnany is diagnosed as medically futile

(b)(1) “fetal heartbeat” means cardiac activity or the steady repetitive rhythmic contraction of the fetal heart within the gestational sac

(b)(2) “Physician” means someone who is licensed by the Louisiana State Board of Medical Examiners

(b)(3)  “Unborn human being” is a individual living member of the species Homo sapiens throughout the entire embryonic and fetal stages, from fertilization through full gestation and birth

(b)(4) “Medically futile” means that the unborn child has a profound and irremediable congenital or chromosomal anomaly that is incompatible with sustaining life after birth. This diagnosis shall be put into the woman’s medical records as well.

(c) states that whoever violates these sections will be subjected to penalties provided in another law (specifically R.S. 40:1061.29)

(d) states that if you are found to be violation of the law, it shall be founds for non-issuance, suspension, revocation, or restriction of a license, or the denial of reinstatement or renewal of a license that is issued by the Louisiana State Board of Medical Examiners.

(e) states that this section shall not be construed to repeal any other provision of law that restricts or regulates the performance of an abortion by a particular method or during a particular stage of a pregnancy.

(f)(1) says that this bill will be repealed if the Supreme Court says states can have authority over prohibiting elective abortions.

(f)(2) says that bill is repealed if there is an amendment to the Constitution that restores the authority to prohibit elective abortions to the states.

Section 2, beginning on line 4, page 4 and ending on line 8, page 8 states that this law will before effective upon a final decision from the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit upholding the Act that originated as Senate Bill 2116 of the 2019 Regular Session of the Mississippi Legislature that would give states the authority to restrict abortion.

Caroline C.
FFL Cabinet Member
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