More 'heartbeat' abortion bans advancing in South, Midwest

FILE - In this March 20, 2018, file photo, anti-abortion sidewalk counselors call out to a woman entering the Jackson Women's Health Organization's clinic, the only facility in the state that performs abortions, in Jackson, Miss. A new Mississippi law could make it nearly impossible for most pregnant women to get an abortion there if it survives a court challenge. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis, File)

If a new Mississippi law survives a court challenge, it will be nearly impossible for most pregnant women to get an abortion there.

Or, potentially, in neighboring Louisiana. Or Alabama. Or Georgia.

The Louisiana legislature is halfway toward passing a law - like the ones enacted in Mississippi and Georgia - that will ban abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected, about six weeks into a pregnancy and before many women know they're pregnant. Alabama is on the cusp of approving an even more restrictive bill.

State governments are on a course to virtually eliminate abortion access in large chunks of the Deep South and Midwest. Ohio and Kentucky also have passed heartbeat laws; Missouri's Republican-controlled legislature is considering one.

Their hope is that a more conservative U.S. Supreme Court will approve, spelling the end of the constitutional right to abortion.

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