Sam Hanna Jr.

The abortion issue figured to play a prominent role in this year’s governor’s race.

Not anymore.

Last week, Gov. John Bel Edwards, a Democrat, broke ranks with the pro-abortionists in the national Democrat Party and said he’ll sign legislation into law that would outlaw abortion in Louisiana once a heartbeat is detected in a fetus. That’s usually around week six of a pregnancy.

State Sen. John Milkovich of Shreveport, another Democrat, authored the so-called “heartbeat” bill. It was approved by the Senate on a 31-5 vote and awaits action by the House of Representatives. The Republican-controlled House will approve it though the bill’s passage will aid Edwards’ bid for a second term in office.

Milkovich’s bill mirrored legislation approved by the Mississippi Legislature. As you might expect, the Mississippi bill was challenged in federal court where it’s slumbering along at a snail’s pace. Eventually, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans will decide its fate. It’s possible the “heartbeat” bill will land at the U.S. Supreme Court.

The long and short of it is if the federal courts determine the Mississippi “heartbeat” bill passes constitutional muster, Milkovich’s bill in Louisiana will become law. That’s ivory soap certain now that Edwards has made it known he supports the “heartbeat” bill and has every intention of signing it.

Not much hay has been made of Edwards abandoning the Democrats to declare his support for legislation that restricts abortion. While reporters and columnists from Louisiana’s major newspapers have been rather subdued, could you imagine the news coverage if Edwards had said he would veto the “heartbeat” bill if the Legislature approved it? It would be wall to wall coverage including a plethora of opinion pieces declaring Edwards a hero for standing up for a woman’s so-called right to determine whether to murder her own child, otherwise known as having an abortion.

Make no mistake, Edwards will get plenty of national attention in the so-called mainstream media for having the audacity to be a Democrat who signs anti-abortion legislation. That, my friends, will do nothing but help Edwards in Louisiana where a vast majority of voters are anti-abortion themselves. The more the national Democrats holler and whine about Edwards signing an anti-abortion bill into law, the better it gets for Edwards winning that second term.

To surmise, Edwards’ support for the “heartbeat” bill just aborted his Republican opposition.

Meanwhile, news reports surfaced over the weekend about President Donald Trump leaning on Republican Congressman Steve Scalise — for the third time — to run for governor in Louisiana. Without a doubt, Trump encouraging Scalise to get in the governor’s race simply points to how little faith the president and the national Republican Party have in the two Republicans who are already running against Edwards. Obviously, Trump saw a poll that told him Edwards was in pretty good shape in a match-up with Baton Rouge businessman Eddie Rispone or Congressman Ralph Abraham, the two Republicans who currently say they’re running for governor. Then again, the absence of a truly contested governor’s race in Louisiana probably sits well with the president since he reportedly likes Edwards personally.

All of this begs a serious and simple question. Governor, why are you still a Democrat?

Sam Hanna Jr. can be reached by phone at 318-805-8158 or e-mail at

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