A Senate committee has approved legislation that would prohibit an abortion if a fetal heartbeat is detected. The bill’s author, Shreveport Senator John Milkovich, says the state must do more to protect unborn humans and if it doesn’t "the same sin in many respects that we committed in the crime of slavery, or the mistreatment of Indians.”

If Louisiana’s abortion ban proposal is signed by the governor, it would not take effect until the federal courts determine if a similar law in Mississippi is constitutional. Reproductive Rights Attorney Ellie Schilling says there’s no way the courts will rule that a fetal abortion ban is legal.

“So before viability, your own bodily autonomy and integrity, your liberty interest in that is at stake. That’s why pre-viability bans have never been upheld.”

But Milkovich believes a fetal abortion ban is legal because of a couple of reasons…

“A person exists at the moment of conception, that is the science, which we believe is really not credibly disputed. Also, under Louisiana law that is our legal tradition, and our current statutory law.”

The measure advances to the Senate floor after a five to two vote in a judiciary committee. The legislation does not include an exception if the pregnancy was caused by rape or incest and that bothers New Orleans Senator Troy Carter, who says legislators need to consider that exception.

“If it happened to you or your wife, or your daughter, then maybe the empathy becomes a little more really, because it’s not just a theory.”