BATON ROUGE, La., June 28 (UPI) -- The Louisiana legislature has unanimously approved a partial-birth abortion ban that would penalize doctors who perform the procedure.
The law only makes allowances for the rarely used procedure in life-threatening situations and does not include exceptions to protect the health of the mother -- provisions similar to the federal Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003, Stateline.org reported Thursday.
The bill, if approved by Gov. Kathleen Blanco, would make violating the ban a state crime and subject doctors who violate the law to a fine and between one and 10 years in prison.
The U.S. Supreme Court in 2000 struck down an earlier ban passed by Louisiana.
"To avoid that problem this time, we decided to take the language from the federal bill and overlay it with the Louisiana civil code," said state Rep. Gary Beard, a Republican and lead sponsor of the bill. He said the state ban is required to allow local district attorneys and law enforcement officials to enforce the law independent of federal authorities.