Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Louisiana poised to ban partial-birth abortion at state level


Louisiana is on its way to banning a gruesome late-term abortion procedure and becoming the first state to do so since a Supreme Court decision in April upholding a federal ban on the procedure.
On a 99-1 vote, Louisiana's House has passed a ban on partial-birth abortion. Governor Kathleen Blanco is expected to sign it into law. The bill would make it a state crime for a doctor to violate the ban, subject to a fine between $10,000 and $100,000 and one to ten years in prison. The measure would only allow the procedure when the mother's life is in danger.
Gene Mills, president of the Louisiana Family Forum, says pro-lifers in his state felt there was no time to waste following the Supreme Court's decision to uphold the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003.
"Louisiana needed to be on record as being opposed to this barbaric procedure known as partial-birth abortion," says Mills. "And in the event that someone would make the charge that the federal law doesn't apply here, or in some case would try to make a district court or state court appeal, we felt like the legislature in the state of Louisiana needed to be on record as [being] opposed to this procedure."
Mills admits that the ban, like the federal statute, will not stop all abortions. But he feels it is at least a good step in the right direction toward "incrementally cornering" abortion advocates who he claims have "used the courts and the state statute and federal statute in their favor."
But the American Civil Liberties Union's Sondra Goldschein calls the Louisiana law unnecessary and a waste of legislators' time. She tells Stateline.org that it is "clearly about intimidating doctors."
If you go to the url you can hear an audio clip as well!


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