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Despite pleas from Democrats and gut-wrenching testimony from doctors and rape survivors, a GOP-controlled legislative committee rejected a bill Tuesday that would have added cases of rape and incest as exceptions to Louisiana’s abortion ban.

In the reliably red state, which is firmly ensconced in the Bible Belt and where even some Democrats oppose abortions, adding exceptions to Louisiana’s strict law has been an ongoing battle for advocates — with a similar measure failing last year. Currently, of the 14 states with abortion bans at all stages of pregnancy, six have exceptions in cases of rape and five have exceptions for incest.

“I will beg (committee) members to come to common sense,” Democratic state Rep. Alonzo Knox said to fellow lawmakers ahead of the vote, urging them to give approval to the exceptions. “I’m begging now.”

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