Sanders, Harris criticize Democratic Louisiana governor over 'heartbeat' abortion bill

Sanders, Harris criticize Democratic Louisiana governor over 'heartbeat' abortion bill
© Aaron Schwartz

Democratic presidential hopefuls Sens. Bernie SandersBernie SandersWarren overtakes Biden in Iowa for first time: poll The polls are asking the wrong question Sanders unveils plan to eliminate Americans' medical debt MORE (I-Vt.) and Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisWarren overtakes Biden in Iowa for first time: poll Iowa GOP swipes at 2020 Democrats' meat positions as candidates attend annual Steak Fry Warren avoids attacks while building momentum MORE (D-Calif.) criticized Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) on Thursday for his support of a bill that would ban abortion when a fetal heartbeat can be detected. 

"Dangerous attacks on women’s constitutional right to an abortion are outrageous no matter what party you’re in," Harris tweeted after Edwards signed the bill, which would outlaw abortion around six weeks into pregnancy.

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"My message to the Gov. of Louisiana: women have agency, women have value, women have authority to make decisions about their own lives—and we will not go backward," she added.

Sanders also tweeted on Thursday afternoon, calling the move an "outrage."

"The Democratic governor of Louisiana is signing draconian anti-abortion legislation today" Sanders wrote. "This is an outrage. Regardless of party, we must vigorously defend a woman's constitutional right to control her own body."

Edwards, who says he is "pro-life," signed the bill on Thursday. The legislation does not have exceptions for rape and incest.

“In 2015, I ran for governor as a pro-life candidate after serving as a pro-life legislator for eight years,” he said Thursday. “As governor, I have been true to my word and my beliefs on this issue.”

The governor is the first Democrat to sign a sweeping bill limiting abortion rights in a state.

The legislation comes amid a series of similar bills in other states, as well as a bill that was signed into law earlier this month in Alabama that outlaws almost all abortions.

Sanders and Harris are among two dozen people vying for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination.