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Baton Rouge, La., Nov 19, 2019 / 10:00 am (CNA).- Pro-lifers are hopeful that the re-election of Democrat John Bel Edwards as Louisiana governor could turn the tide in a party whose leadership has grown increasingly more pro-abortion with each election cycle.
John Bel Edwards was re-elected as governor of Louisiana on Saturday by a 40,000-vote margin, winning more than 51 percent of the state’s vote.
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A Catholic, Edwards first ran for the office in 2015 on an explicitly pro-life platform and won more than 56% of the vote. His campaign aired a TV ad revealing that Edwards and his wife, then 20 weeks pregnant with their daughter, had discovered she had spina bifida in utero. They couple faced down encouragement from a doctor to abort their child.
Edwards signed a “heartbeat” bill into law earlier in 2019, banning abortions in the state as soon as a baby’s heartbeat is detected in utero—as early as six weeks gestation--with no exceptions for rape or incest.
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Josh Mercer, editor of The Loop at CatholicVote.org, told CNA that Edwards’ signing the heartbeat bill into law proved his pro-life credentials and “made the difference” in what was “a tight race.”
Edwards has also tried to link other issues with to his pro-life stance, and make it part of a broader platform.
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Earlier this year he cited his administration’s three straight years of record numbers of foster care adoptions. Edwards also oversaw an expansion of Medicaid access in his state for adults making less than 138% of the federal poverty line. In 2018, he appeared with Vatican officials at the Louisiana Summit on Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking, and in 2017 at the opening of a shelter for human trafficking victims in the state.
In December of 2018, he told America magazine that "The idea of not doing the Medicaid expansion,...
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