Life support is now required in Louisiana to keep pregnant women alive until after the birth of the child.
A new bill takes effect for those women who do not have a living will. Governor Bobby Jindal signed the bill into law Monday.
It was written by Democratic state Representative Austin Badon of New Orleans, and it takes effect immediately.
The bill requires doctors to use life-sustaining measures if the woman has been pregnant for 20 weeks or more. Also, an obstetrician must determine the woman's life "can reasonably be maintained" to permit the birth.
Badon's bill was pushed by abortion opponents who say it protects the sanctity of life.
Opponents say it meddles in decisions that should be left to family members.