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Louisiana's Dem governor signs nation's most restrictive abortion ban

Louisiana's Dem governor signs nation's most restrictive abortion ban
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Louisiana's Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards on Wednesday signed a bill that would ban abortions after 15 weeks. 

The law will only take effect if a similar law in Mississippi is upheld by a federal court in its ongoing legal battle, according to The Associated Press.

The Louisiana measure would impose a prison sentence of up to two years for someone who performs an abortion after 15 weeks. 

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If the laws in Louisiana and Mississippi take effect, they will mark the earliest abortion bans in the country. 

Edwards, a self-described "pro-life Catholic," has previously signed other abortion restrictions, including a bill that makes women wait three days before they can get an abortion after an initial appointment. 

National anti-abortion groups cheered Edwards's action on Wednesday. 

“We thank all pro-life lawmakers in Louisiana — especially pro-life Democrats like Governor Edwards and State Senator [John] Milkovich (D) for passing this legislation. They followed through on their pro-life principles and united across party lines to protect unborn children,” said Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of Susan B. Anthony List.

“Louisiana is leading the way in the bipartisan effort to bring our nation’s laws into line with basic human decency."

Abortion rights activists argue that 15-week abortion bans are unconstitutional as the fetus is not yet viable, or able to survive outside the womb.